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How the nobles of Brittany swore fealty to king Henry and his son 

A.D. 1170. Henry king of England held his court on 
Christmas day at Nantes, with the bishops and barons of 
Lesser Britain, who all swore fealty to him and to his son 
Geoffrey. In Lent following he crossed over into England, 
and was almost drowned with all his people. 

Of the absolution of the bishop of London, 

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was passed against you, and then to absolve you ; so that 
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Of the life and virtues of St. Godric the hermit. 

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acts, and glorious end, we will here introduce a few re- 
marks, since it would be an injustice to the saint altogether 
to pass over his glorious deeds. This friend of God was 
born in Norfolk ; his father's name was Aihvard, and his 
mother's Eadwenna. He was brought up by his parents in 
his native village of Walpole, and there passed part of his 



life in their company. When he had passed tho innocent 
years of childhood he became a tradesman ; at first in a 
humble manner, and afterwards frequenting the public 
market with other traders. One day, as he was walking 
alone upon the shore, he found three dolphins cast up by the 
sea ; one of which seemed to be dead, and the other two 
dying. For humanity's sake he left those which were alive 
untouched, but loaded himself with part of that which V.-A* 
dead, and set out to return home ; but the tide beginning to 
rise as usual, was at first over his feet and legs, and at last, 
rose as high as his head. But being strong in faith, he con- 
tinued to walk along, under the water, guided by the Lord, 
until he reached the dry ground ; and delivering the fish to 
his parents, he told them all that had happened to him. 
Sometimes he would meditate when he was alone, upon 
heavenly things, and say over the Lord's prayer and the 
creed. In his zeal for religion, he went to St. Andrew's in 
Scotland to pray, and with no less devotion went also to 
Rome. On his return from thence he joined himself to some 
merchants, and with them carried on traffic by sea ; which 
brought him so much wealth that he was owner of half one 
ship, and the fourth part of another. Being robust in body 
and active in inind, he sailed to different countries of the 
world, and visiting the holy places of the saint*, commended 
himself to their protection. 

Of the girl icho ministered to St. Godric in his pilyrimagt'. 

When Godric had spent sixteen years in the gains of these 
trading voyages, lie determined to spend, in the cause of 
religion, the wealth which his labours had accumulated. He 
therefore took the cross and devoutly visited our Lord's 
sepulchre; after which he returned by way of St. James's* 
to England. After some time he felt a holy desire to visit 
the threshold of the apostles, and communicated this inten- 
tion to his parents ; and when his mother expressed her 
wish to accompany him, if lie would let her, he gladly 
assented, and with filial obedience, carried her on his shoul- 
ders, whenever the roughness of the road required it. 
When they had passed through London, a woman of great 
beauty approached them, and asked permission to join in 

ComposU'llo in Spain. 

A.D. 1170.] ST. GODKIC THE 1IKRMIT. 3 

their pilgrimage. To this they readily assented, and she 
adhered to them with great diligence and devotion ; lor she 
washed and kissed their feet, and served them better than 
any others. Jn this manner she conducted herself the whole 
way, both going and returning ; no one asked her who she- 
was or where she came from, nor did she ever mention it. 
When they passed through London on their return, she ob- 
tained their consent to leave; but she said before going 
away, " It is now time for me to go to the place from which 
I came: and you must give thanks to God, who never de- 
serts those that put their trust in Him ; for I tell you that 
you will surely obtain that which you prayed for at Rome 
from the apostles." None of the company saw this woman 
except Godric and his mother only. 

I low the man nf God, on his return home, retired into the desert. 

When he had restored his mother in safety to the protec- 
tion of his father, he sold all that he had, received their 
blessing, and left them, in order to become a hermit. In 
the extreme parts of England he came to a city called Car- 
lisle, where, finding some of his relations, he obtained from 
one of them a present of one of St. Jerome's psalters, which 
in a short time he learned to recite by heart. He then, 
without the knowledge of his friends, retired to the wood-. 
where he lived some time on wild herbs and fruits ; ami 
both serpents and wild beasts came and looked on him, but 
after a time left him without doing him any harm. In this 
desert he spent many days as a hermit; at one time on his 
knees, at another time with his hands raised to heaven, or 
prostrate on the ground, he was constantly in prayer to God. 
At last he found in that place a hermit's cave, into which he 
entered, and received the salutation, " Welcome, brother 
Godric!" To which he replied, " How do you do, father 
Ailric?" though they never knew one another before. 
" You are sent by Heaven," replied the old man, "to bury 
my old body when I am dead." These two lived together 
two years, though neither of them had any property. At 
last the old hermit became very infirm, and \\ as carried 
about by Godrie, who brought him food, and fi-tched a priest 
to hear his confession, and administered to him tin 1 cucharist. 
Godric, therefore, seeing that h<- became worse, said, '' Thou 

u 2 


spirit, that hast been created after God's likeness, I adjure 
thee by the Almighty God, not to leave this body without 
my knowledge." The old man thereupon died immediately, 
and Godric saw a kind of spherical body like a hot and burn- 
ing wind, which shone like most transparent glass, in the midst 
of an incomparable whiteness, though no one can describe 
the measure of the soul's qualities. At the news of the holy 
man's death, his companions, who were at the court of 
St. Cuthbert, where, when a young man, he had himself 
resided, buried him in the cemetery of Durham. 

How the blessed Godric went to Jerusalem and returned safe. 

When the brother aforesaid was buried, Godric returned 
to the desert, doubting what might be the divine will con- 
cerning him. Whilst, therefore, he was praying earnestly to 
God on this subject, a voice came from heaven saying to 
him, " It is expedient that thou shouldst go to Jerusalem and 
return again." Also St. Cuthbert, Christ's holy confessor, 
appeared to him saying, " Go to Jerusalem, and be crucified 
with the Lord, and I will there be your helper and patron in 
all things. When you have completed this journey, you 
shall serve God under my protection at Finchale." Godric 
returning to Durham, took the cross and received the priest'* 
blessing. On this journey he ate nothing but barley bread 
and drank water, he neither changed nor washed his clothes, 
nor ever took off his shoes to change or mend them, until he 
arrived as the holy places. When he came to the Lord's 
tomb and the other sacred places, he prayed devoutly, shed- 
ding tears, and kissing the spot so long and devoutly, that 
one could hardly have thought it possible. He then went to 
the river Jordan, where, clothed in sackcloth, and with a cup 
which he carried in his wallet, and a small cross, which lit; 
always bore in his hand, he entered the river, which he 
always after loved, and there putting off his clothes, came 
forth washed and clean ; but he threw away his Khoc-s, and 
said, "Almighty God, who in this land didst walk with naked 
feet, and didst suffer thy feet to be pierced with nails upon 
the cross: henceforth I will never again wear shoes." 
Having thus fulfilled his vow of pilgrimage, he returned to 


How the blessed Godric, by Mod's inspiration, chose hit residence 
at Finchale. 

Returned from pilgrimage, lie found a secret place in a 
forest, in the north of England, called Eskdale, which he 
thought would suit him to dwell in. lie accordingly built a 
hut of logs, covering it with turf, and dwelt there a year 
and some months : but when the proprietors of the land began 
to annoy him, he left it and went to Durham, where he made 
such rapid progress in learning the Psalter afresh, that lie 
soon knew as much of the psalms, hymns, and prayers, as he 
thought sufficient. Wherefore, one day, inspired from on 
high, he went into a grove in the neighbourhood, where In- 
heard a shepherd say to his comrade, " Let us go and water 
our flocks at Finchale." Godric hearing these words, gave 
the. shepherd the only penny he had, to conduct him to that 
place. As he proceeded towards the interior of the forest, 
there met him a tierce wolf of extraordinary size, which 
rushed upon him, as if it would tear him in pieces. Godric, 
perceiving that this was one of the wiles of the old enemy, 
made the sign of the cross, saying, " I adjure thee in the name 
of the Holy Trinity to depart with speed, if the service which 
I propose to discharge to God in this place is acceptable to 
him!" At these words, the animal prostrated himself with 
his impious feet, as if begging pardon of the holy man. 

Hou' Saint Godric dwelt at Finchafe among the wild bevsts and serprnt.*. 

Intending, therefore, to serve the Lord in this place, 
Godric, by licence of Ralph bishop of Durham, formed :i 
cave in the earth near the bank of the river Wear, and 
covering it with turf, resided therein among the wild beasts 
and serpents. The number of serpents was fearful ; but 
they were all tame towards the man of God, suffering them- 
selves to be handled, and obedient to his commands. Some- 
times as he sat by the fire they would twine round his legs, 
or coil themselves up in his dish or his cup. Alter having 
passed some years in this way of life, he thought that the 
serpents impeded his prayers; wherefore one dav seeing 
them about him as usual, he commanded them to enter his 
house no more; upon which all those vermin wholly left it, 
and never again crossed his threshold. When, also, presents 
of food and other articles were offered to him. he declines 


them altogether, preferring to live by the labour of his hands : 
and he burnt boughs and branches of trees to ashes, which 
he mixed with his barley flour in sueh proportion that the 
ashes formed one-third of the whole ; and he restrained the 
passions of the body by weeping, watching, and fasting, so 
that sometimes lie even passed six days without eating. 
After tempting him strongly with luxury, the devil appeared 
to him in the form of a wild beast, sueh as a bear, a lion, 
bull, or wolf, a fox, or a toad, and endeavoured to alarm 
him ; but he was strong in faith and despised them all. To 
quench the burnings of the flesh, he subdued his body by 
the use of the harshest sackcloth, and for fifty years wore a 
coat of mail. His table was a broad flat stone, on which stood 
his bread, such as I have before described it, but he never 
tasted it until compelled by absolute necessity : his drink 
was a moderate draught of water, and only when urged by 
extreme thirst ; he never reposed in a bed, but would lie on 
the ground when he was fatigued, with his sackcloth under 
him, and with his head reclining on the stone which served 
him for a table. When the moon shone, he devoted himself 
to his works, and, shaking off sleep, spent the time in 
prayer. In winter, amid snow and hail, he entered the river 
naked, and there, during the whole night, offered himself up 
a living victim to the Lord, immersed up to his neck, and in 
this state poured forth psalms, and prayers, and tears. 
Whilst he was in the water, the devil used often to appear 
to him with all his limbs distorted, and on the point of rush- 
ing on him, but he was repulsed in confusion at the sign of 
the holy cross ; he endeavoured, however, to carry off' the 
clothes of the holy man, but was so terrified by GodricV 
shouts, that he east them also away and fled. 

Hour Saint (iodric one day saw a child come forth from the month of the 
crucifix, and reverently settle himself in the bottom of its mother. 

One day, whilst the man of God was sitting in his oratory 
repeating the psalter, he saw a little boy come out of the 
mouth of the crucifix, who, going to the image of the 
blessed virgin, which stood on the north end of the same 
plank, sat himself in her bosom. She, on the other hand, 
stretching out her hands to meet him, fondled him in her arms 
for nearly three hours. The boy during the whole time 


moved as if lie was alive ; and both when he came arid when 
lie went, the image of the virgin trembled so much that the 
plank seemed likely to fall. Godric thought that the limbs 
of the image were filled with the spirit of life, and that the 
boy was no other than Jesus of Nazareth. The child after- 
wards returned into the mouth of the crucifix in the same 
way as it came out. 

How our Lord's mother and Mary Magdalene appeared to Saint Godric, 
and of (lie song which our Saviour's mother taught him. 

Another time, when the man of God was praying before 
the altar of the blessed virgin mother of God, he saw two 
girls, of tender age, and of the utmost beauty, standing at 
the two horns of the altar, and clothed in garments of snowy 
whiteness. They stood some time looking at one another, 
and Godric did not dare to move, but turned his eyes from one 
to the other, and occasionally bowed his head in adoration. The 
virgins then approached him, and she who was at the right 
hand of the altar asked him, "Dost thou know me, Godric?" 
To whom he answered, " Tliat is impossible, lady, except to 
whom you design to reveal yourself." She replied, " Of a 
truth thou hast said that I am the mother of Christ, and 
through me thou shalt obtain his grace. This other lady is 
the female apostle of the apostles, Mary Magdalene." Godric 
now threw himself at the feet of the mother of God, saying, 
" I commit myself to thee, my lady, and beseech thee to take 
me under thy protection." She then placed both of her 
hands on his head, and smoothing down his hair, filled the 
house with a sweet odour. After this she sang, and taught 
Godric to sing a song, which he afterwards often repeated 
and imprinted it firmly on his memory : the song in the 
English idiom is as follows :* 

" Seinte Marie, clane virginc, 
Moder Jcsu Christ Nazarene, 
Onfo, scild, help thin Godrich 
Onfang, bring lieiili widh the in Codes rich. 
Seinte Marie, Christes bour, 
Meidenes clenhed, moderes flour, 
Delivere mine sennen, regne in min mod, 
Bringe me to blisse wit thi selte, God." 

* These are the exact words of the original, and form :i curious 
fragment of early English religious poetry. 


This song may thus be rendered in Latin : " Sancta Maria, 
virgo munda, mater Jesu Christi Nazareni, suscipe, adduc, 
sancta, tecum in Dei regnum. Sancta Maria, Christi thala- 
mus, virginalis puritas, matris flos, dele mea crimina, regna 
in mente rnea, due me ad felicitatem cum solo Deo." This 
song Christ's mother told Godric to sing whenever he was 
fearful of being overcome by pain, sorrow, or temptation. 
" And when you call on me by singing it," continued she, 
" you shall immediately have my help." She then made the 
sign of the cross upon his head, and in his sight went up to 
heaven, leaving behind a pleasant odour. 

How Saint Godric raised two dead persons to life again. 

One day there came to the man of God a husband and 
wife, and besought him mercifully to restore to life their 
daughter who was dead, and at the same time they produced 
her body from a sack which they brought with them. The 
man of God, judging himself unworthy to perform such a 
meritorious deed, made no answer, but went into the field 
to his usual labour ; at which the two persons were disturbed 
and took their departure, leaving the body in his oratory, 
" for," said they, " he may keep the corpse and bury it, or 
else restore it to life ; which he could do if he pleased. In 
the evening Godric returning, found the body in the corner 
of his oratory, and immediately began devoutly to pray God, 
who is the source of life and health to all, to bring back the 
girl to life. This he continued to do for three days and two 
nights ; when, on the third day, whilst he was still lying 
prostrate before the altar, he saw the girl advance towards 
it ; upon which he forthwith called her parents and restored 
her to flieir cares, making them at the same time swear that, 
so long as he lived, they would reveal this secret to no one. 
At another time, also, when the dead body of a boy was 
brought by his parents privately to the man of God, he bade 
them place it on the altar of the blessed virgin in his oratory, 
saying, " Do not suppose that the boy is dead, but kneel down 
with me and entreat the divine mercy for the child." When 
they had prayed, he told them to go and take the boy from 
the altar, which when they went to do, they found him alive 
and smiling. The man of God afterwards bound them by 
oath, not to reveal this deed to any one as long as he should 
be alive. 


Of the answer which the man of God gave to one who wished to write 
his life. 

The saint had some intimate friends among the monks of 

Durham, especially one whose name was N .* This 

man was repeatedly urged to write the life and virtues of 
St. Godric for the benefit of posterity, and to obtain more 
certain information on the subject, he came to the man of 
God, to learn from him what he should write. Whilst 
sitting at the saint's feet, he said that he proposed to write 
his life, and stated the benefit which would result to pos- 
terity from a knowledge of what he had done : to which the 
man of God replied with much energy, " My friend, the life 
of Godric is as follows : In the first place, Godric the coarse 
rustic, the unclean fornicator, a falsifier, deceiver, and per- 
jurer, a vagrant, petulant and gluttonous, a foul dog, a base 
worm, not a hermit but a hypocrite, not a solitary but a loose- 
minded fellow, a devourer of alms, contemptuous, a lover of 
pleasure, negligent, slothful, and snoring away his time, 
prodigal and ambitions, unworthy to serve others, and ever 
lashing or rebuking those who ministered to himself. These 
are the things, and still worse than these which you will 
have to write about Godric." When he had said these 
words, indignantly, he held his peace, and the monk retired 
in confusion : but when some years had intervened, he did 
not dare again to question the saint about his past life, until 
Godric himself, in compassion, or perhaps because he repented 
of the wrong he had done him, of his own accord told him 
what he wished to know, but at the same time adjured the 
monk, by the regard which they had for one another, to 
show the book to no one during his life. 

Of the answer which Godric gave when asked concerning the departure <>f 
the soul, and its stale after death. 

Another time, when the same monk came to him at the 
feast of Saint John the Baptist to celebrate mass for him, he 
sat outside the door of his oratory, and heard Godric within 
singing. After vespers, the brother asked him what was the 
nature of the soul's departure from this world : to wliieh he 

* We learn from other sources that this man's name was Reginald. N. 
for nomen, is the letter commonly used by the medieval writers and copyists, 
to occupy the place of a name not known to them. 

10 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1170. 

is said to have received this answer : " The pious soul," 
said he, "departs gently from the body; but the sinful soul, 
as if unfit to depart, is urged thereto by many lashes. As 
soon as it has made its exit from the body, it mounts aloft, 
awaiting the pleasure of the Almighty. Now there is in the 
air a narrow iron gate, guarded on both sides by spirits both 
good and evil: through it the souls of the just are admitted 
by an easy passage, but those of the wicked are severely 
constrained and tormented, and miserably driven downwards. 
I this day saw the soul of a just man pass through it, and in 
my joy thereat, I began to sing with the angels that con- 
ducted it, and this was what you heard with so much sur- 

How St. Peter celebrated mass for St. Godric. 

The same monk on another occasion, returning thither 
again, asked the man of God if he would like to hear a mass : 
to which he replied, " I have to-day heard the mass of the 
Holy Trinity, and received the communion from the hand 
of a man in white, who, descending from heaven, again as- 
cended thither after he had admonished me to confess my 
sins, and I had told all that occurred to me of what I had 
done amiss. Thus he gave me absolution, and I received 
the communion from his hands, after which he raised his hands 
over me and ascended into heaven. Do you recommend 
me then, my son, after this, to receive confession or commu- 
nion from your hands?" The monk said he could not dare 
to do so; but at the same time asked him which of the saints 
it was. The man of God replied that it was Peter the 
apostle, who had been sent by God to absolve him from his 
sins. " Do you, then," said he, " celebrate mass in honour 
of the blessed virgin, that by her mediation we may gain the 
favour of her Son." And the monk, giving thanks to God, 
joyfully did as he was bidden. 

How St. (j'adric ican released from the demons by prayer and the sign of 
Ifte cross. 

When Godric had spent forty years in the desert at 
Finchale, he was worn out with disease and old age, and 
drew near his latter end. For during almost eight years la- 
kept his bed, and could not even turn on lu's side without 

A. I). 1170.] DEATH OF ST. GODKIC. 11 

some one to help him:* his pains and temptations were at 
this time so numerous that it is impossible Tor tongue to tell 
or pen to write them. Two demons carne to him, carrying a 
litter, and said to him, " We are come to carry you to hell, 
lor you are an old madman, and from being wise are become 
foolish," but Godric made the sign of the cross and uttered a 
prayer to God, which put the demons to flight. 

How the devil struck Godric on the head, and of his death. 

Afterwards, when the man of God was once lying alone on 
his bed, the attendants, who were without, heard a voice call- 
ing them ; one of them running in, found him lying naked on 
the floor of his oratory, and placing him back on the bed, 
asked him why he lay on the floor. " The devil," said 
Godric, "stood by me, and seeing me lying careless after a 
doze, he suddenly threw me out of bed, and dashed my head 
against the bench." As he said this, he showed them a 
swelling on his head, and added, "The devil came upon me 
so suddenly, that I had no time to protect myself by making 
the sign of the cross, saying, 'Ah, Godric the rustic, I could 
not vanquish you by the agency of my .satellites, but 
whilst you were enjoying repose in your bed, I ha\v 
now killed you.' Let every one therefore reflect how danger- 
ous it is to give way to bodily pleasures, or to indulge in 
sloth ; God is never found among those who live luxuriously." 
The venerable father Godric died on the 21st of May, which 
was the octave of our Lord's ascension : his life and action- 
seem to be more than human, and above the power of man 
to describe : he was buried on the north side cf his oratory, 
before the steps of St. John the Baptist's altar, and his tomb 
to this day is hallowed by the performance of miracles. 

The coronation of youny kiny Henry. 

At this time, namely, A.D. 1170, on the 13th of July, 
by the king's command, there met at Westminster, Rom-r 
archbishop of York," and all the sulfragan bishops of tin 
church of Canterbury, to crown the king's eldest son Henry : 
who was crowned accordingly, by Roger archbishop of York, 

* Tliis was no doubt brought on by his austerity of life, of which pains in 
the body an- the natural result : the temptations which he endured troin 
tlie devil, may be ascribed to imagination. 

12 ROGER OF WEXDOVER. [A.D. 1170. 

ori the 18th of June, contrary to the prohibition of our lord 
the pope, who sent letters to the archbishop and the other 
bishops, to the following purport : " We forbid you all by our 
apostolical authority, from crowning the new king, if the case 
shall occur, without the consent of the archbishop and church 
of Canterbury, nor shall any of you put forth his hand, con- 
trary to the ancient customs and dignity of that church, or in 
any way forward the coronation aforesaid." This prohibition, 
however, was of no avail, for, before the letters were pro- 
mulgated, the young king had been crowned. The king 
immediately afterwards crossed the sea, and came to a con- 
ference with the archbishop at Montmirail, where, also, tin- 
king of France attended, and after a long negotiation about 
making peace between them, when they came to the kiss, the 
archbishop used the words, " I kiss you to the honour of 
God," but the king recoiled from the same, as having been 
only conditionally brought to agreement ; for though the 
archbishop's conscience might be most pure, the king always 
objected to the forms of words which he used, as for instance, 
saving the honour of God, saving my order, saving God's 
holy faith, and the archbishop was suspicious of this caution 
on the king's part, lest, if the reconciliation took place, he 
should be thought to have acquiesced in the king's unjust 
customs of England. 

How peace teas made between king Henry and Thomas archbishop 
of Canterbury. 

The king of France again had a conference with the king 
of England, William archbishop of Sens, and the bishop of 
Nevers, at Freitval, whereat king Henry and the archbishop 
rode apart from the rest, twice dismounted from their horses, 
and twice mounted again ; the king also twice held the 
stirrup whilst the archbishop was mounting ; and finally, by 
means of Rotric archbishop of Rouen, they came to terms at 
Amboise ; peace was made between them, and king Henry 
wrote the following letter to his son the young king. " This 
is to inform you that Thomas archbishop of Canterbury has 
made peace with me, to my satisfaction. I therefore com- 
mand that he and all his adherents shall be unmolested : and 
that you cause all their goods to be restored to him, as 
well as to all his clerks and others who left England on his 


behalf, as they held them three months before the archbishop 
left England. You will also summon before you some of the 
best and oldest knights of the honour of Saltwood, and 
ascertain by their oaths what property is there held of the see 
of Canterbury, and whatsoever is found to be so shall be 
lif.ld by that tenure. Farewell !" Before the archbishop 
crossed to England, he sent a letter to the pope, informing 
him that he had made peace with the king. The pope, in his 
reply, gave thanks to God, in the following terms. " Anxiety 
of heart and bitterness of soul overwhelm us, when we reflect 
on the anguish, the burdens, and the wrongs which you have 
so long and unflinchingly maintained in the cause of justice: 
but, that you might fill up the measure of your virtue, you 
persevered in your purpose, unconquered by adversity, for 
which we laud your admirable fortitude and congratulate you 
heartily in the Lord for such long-suffering. For since we 
have so long borne with the king of England, and so often 
warned him, both in mild and in gentle language, and some- 
times with severity and sharpness, that he should reflect and 
amend his conduct ; if he does not fulfil the terms of tin- 
peace which he has concluded with you, and restore to you 
and yours all the possessions that have been taken away, 
we give you full power over all persons and places, belong- 
ing to your legation, to exercise ecclesiastical discipline upon 
them, without appeal, according as you shall think fit." 

Of the archbishop's return to England from exile. 

With these guarantees from the pope and king, the arch- 
bishop sailed for England, and landed at Sandwich on the l.t 
of December. As soon as he arrived, that nothing might be 
wanting to hasten the glory of martyrdom, which he ardently 
longed for, he sent the following letter to the archbishop of 
York. " Whereas the king of England wished his son to be 
crowned, and it appears that this office belongs to the arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, from ancient custom, it appears, my 
brother archbishop, that the said king, setting aside the arch- 
bishop aforesaid, has caused the crown of the kingdom to be 
placed on his son's head by your hands, and that the oath 
prescribed for the maintenance of the church's liberties was 
not only not taken, but not even demanded by you ; but that, 
on the contrary, the unjust customs of the kingdom, by which 

14 ROGER OF WKNDOVKR. [/V.D. 1170. 

the church's dignity is in danger of being shipwrecked, were 
ratified by oath and held to be binding hereafter for ever. 
In which matter, although the vehemence of the king himself 
causes us much disquiet, yet we are the more disturbed at the 
weakness which you and your brother bishops have displayed, 
who, we grieve to say it, have been like rams not having 
horns, and have retreated ingloriously before the face of your 
pursuer. You might lawfully have discharged this office, 
my brother, in your own province, but in the province of 
another, and especially of him who was an exile for the sake 
of justice, who alone went forth to give glory to God, we 
can find nothing in reason itself, nor in the constitution of 
the holy fathers to justify such a deed: you allowed those 
unjust constitutions to be confirmed on oath, and neglected to 
take the shield of faith, and to stand up for the Lord's house 
on the day of battle. Wherefore, that we may not, by longer 
silence, be involved, on the day of judgment, in the same 
sentence as yourself, we do hereby, on the authority of the 
holy Roman church, whose servant under God we are, 
declare you suspended from every office appertaining to your 
episcopal dignity." Archbishop Thomas, also, by virtue of 
another letter from the pope, suspended from their episcopal 
functions the bishops of London, Salisbury, Exeter, Chester, 
Rochester, St. Asaph, and Llandatf, as well as the others who 
had assisted at the coronation aforesaid. The pope's letter 
was as follows : " The cause for which our venerable brother 
Thomas archbishop of Canterbury and legate of the apostolic 
soe has been driven into exile, need not now be explained to 
you, because you were present to witness it, and because the 
rumour of it has spread through all the church of the west. 
But whereas Theobald of pious memory formerly archbishop 
of Canterbury, and predecessor of the present archbishop, 
placed the crown on the head of the king of England, and by 
these means the, church of Canterbury has, as it were, tin- 
right of exercising this office, you have now not hesitated, in 
defence of our apostolical letters to the contrary, to aid in the 
coronation of the new king, though the archbishop had not 
been informed of it, and the ceremony took place in his own 
province: you, who ought to have lightened the archbishop's 
exile by such consolations as were in your power, have 
rather aggrarated the case against him, and, we grieve to say 

A. D. 1170.] DEATH OF TANCRED. 1," 

it, added to the pain of his wounds. In which matter, 
though we may not be excited to proceed against you a* 
much as your fault deserves, yet we cannot pass it over 
altogether in silence, lest, perchance, which God forbid, thr 
sentence of the divine severity go forth against both us and 
you, if we neglect to punish crimes which have been enacted 
openly in the .sight of men. Be it known to you that by the 
authority which we hold from God, we have .suspended you 
from the episcopal office, until you shall appear before our 
apostolic see to make satisfaction, unless you shall make the 
same previously to the archbishop aforesaid, in such manner 
that he may think lit to relax this our sentence." 

How the kitty's agents commanded St. Thomas to abxolce the excommuni- 
cated bishops. 

When the venerable archbishop of Canterbury had re- 
turned to his church, amid the rejoicings and pious devotion 
of both clergy and people, the king's officials immediate! v 
approached him, with orders from their master, to absolve 
the suspended bishops and others whom he had excommuni- 
cated on the pica that whatever was done against them, 
redounded to the injury and subversion of the customs of the 
kingdom. The archbishop replied that, if the excommuni- 
cated bishops would swear, according to the form which the 
church prescribes, that they would abide by the pope's com- 
mands, he would, for the peace of the church, and out of 
regard for the king, consent to absolve them. When this was 
reported to the bishops, they replied that they could not take 
an oath of this kind without the king's consent. Shortly 
afterwards the archbishop went to visit the young king at 
Woodstock, but was met by messengers, who, in the king's 
name, commanded him to proceed no further, but to return 
to his church. He accordingly returned to Kent, and there 
made preparation to celebrate the season of Christmas, which 
was approaching.* 

* Matthew Paris inserts here the following : " And when these threats 
increased against him, he obeyed them ; for his hour was not yet come. 
He therefore spent some days at his manor of Hanves, seven miles from 
the monastery of St. Albans, and kept the festival there ; anil the man of 
God showed no si;;ns of trouble. The abbat of St. Albans supplied him 
with abundanee of provisions ; and the archbishop, in returning him thanks, 
civilly said, ' I accept Ids presents, but would rather have his prrfcnce.' 

16 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1171, 

Of the glorious martyrdom of Thomas archbishop of Canterbury. 

A.D. 1171.* On Christmas day, the archbishop of Canter- 
bury mounted the pulpit to deliver a sermon to the people, 
which when he had finished, he excommunicated Nigel de 
Sackville, who had violently seized on the church of Herges, 
and the vicar of the same church Robert de Broc, who, in 

And the servant said to him, ' My lord, he is at the door coming to you. 
On which the archbishop met him at the door. After he and the abbat, 
by name Simon, had kissed each other, they had a long conversion. The 
archbishop then asked the abbat to go to the young king at Woodstock, 
and to advise him in gentle though efficient words, to soften the hatred 
which he cherished against him. The abbat in compliance with the arch- 
bishop's wish, went at once to the king ; but meeting with nothing but 
pride and anger, he returned without effecting any thing. On his telling 
the archbishop with sorrow the result of his application, that prelate 
answered with a sigh, ' Be it so; be it so!' and, shaking his head, added, 
as if with the voice of a prophet, ' Art thou in such haste for the end to 
approach ? ' The abbat at the time did not understand these words, but 
they were afterwards clear to him. The archbishop casting an affectionate 
and almost weeping eye on the abbat, said to him, ' My lord abbat, I return 
you thanks for the trouble you have taken, useless though it has been.' 

To heal the sick the leech's art sometimes will fail. 
And, spite of remedies, disease weigh down the scale." 

And he added, ' But the king himself will pass sentence without delay;' 
and looking on the priests sitting round him, he continued, ' How is this, mr 
friends? this abbat, who is in no way bound to me, has shown me more civi- 
lity and kindness than all my brethren and suffragan priests;' for the abbat 
on his departure to Woodstock had ordered his ceHarer to send liberal supplies 
daily to the archbishop who was living near. The abbat previous to his 
return home, with clasped hands, earnestly entreated the archbishop in his 
kindness to honour the abbey of St. Alban's with his much wished for 
presence at the approaching Christmas, and to keep that festival, as well as 
that of the first English martyr, at that place. The arch prelate replied 
with gushing tears, ' Oh ! how willingly would I do so, but far otherwise is 
it decreed ; go in peace, beloved father abbat ; go to your sanctuary, which 
may God have in his keeping; but I am going to what will be a sufficient 
reason for my not coming to you. But rather do you, if it can be so, come 
with me to be my guest, and a consoler to me in the troubles which abun- 
dantly encompass me.' The abbat refused this, because it was necessary 
for him to be present at his abbey on the occasion of such a great festival, 
and after receiving the archbishop's blessing, departed. But afterwards 
often was his heart rent with sorrow and lamentation that it had not been 
permitted him to enter into glory in conjunction with such a great martyr. 
The archbishop hastened his journey to his church to keep Christmas ; and 
in the eight days of the fiiist departed to the Lord." 

The year was sometimes considered to begin on Christmas-day : by 
which mode of notation Beckefs martyrdom on the *J9th of December 
would fall in 1171 instead of 1170. 


derision of the archbishop had maimed one of his horses 
loaded with provisions. After this, on the fifth day from 
Christmas-day, about the hour of vespers, as the archbishop 
was sitting with his clerks in his chamber, William de Tracy, 
Reginald Fitz-Urse, Hugh de Morville, and Richard Briton, 
coming from Normandy, burst into the room, as if impelled 
by madness, and commanded him, in the king's name, to 
restore the suspended bishops and absolve those whom he 
had excommunicated. To this the archbishop answered 
that an inferior judge could not absolve from the sentence of 
his superior, and that no man could annul a decision of the 
apostolic see : if, however, the bishops of London and Salis- 
bury and the other excommunicated persons would swear to 
comply with his mandate, he would, for the peace of the 
church and out of regard to the king, consent to absolve 
them. The men glowing with anger, and in haste to carry 
into effect what they had conceived, departed with violence : 
whilst the archbishop, by the advice of his clerks, and be- 
cause the hour of vespers was at hand, entered the church for 
the service. The four ministers of evil meanwhile had put 
on their armour, and following close upon the archbishop, 
found that the doors had been by his orders left open be- 
hind him. " For," said he, " the church of God should be 
open as a place of refuge to all men ; let us not therefore 
convert it into a castle." The multitude now began to run 
together on all sides, and the four men irreverently entering 
the church, cried out, " Where is this traitor to his king ? 
where is the archbishop?" lie, hearing himself called, 
turned back to meet them ; for he had already mounted 
three or four steps of the presbytery,* and said to them, 
" If you seek the archbishop, here he stands." Upon which 
they used harsh language towards him, mixed with threats. 
" I am ready to die," said he, " for I prefer the maintenance of 
justice and the liberties of the church to my own life ; but 
these my adherents have done nothing for which they should 
be punished." The murderers now rushed on him with 
drawn swords, and lie fell uttering these words, "To (iod 
and St. Mary, the patrons of this church, and to St. Dennis, 
I commend my soul and the cause of the church !" Thus was 
slain this glorious martyr before the altar of St. Benedict, 

1 The choir. 

18 ROGER OK WENDOVER. [A.D. 1171. 

by a wound received in that part of his body where he had 
formerly received the holy oil which consecrated him to the 
Lord ; ncr were they content to pollute the church with the 
blood of a priest and to profane that holy day, but they also 
cut off the crown of his skull, and with blood-stained swords 
scattered his brains over the pavement of the church. 

How those executioners carried off the spoils of the blessed martyr, and 
of the dignified manner of his death. 

Thus the glorious martyr was translated to the heavenly 
kingdom, whilst the bloody executioners plundered his goods 
and carried off all the clothes of his clerks, and whatever they 
found in the offices of his servants. Meanwhile his blessed 
corpse, which lay on the floor of the church, was carried 
about the time of twilight in front of the high altar, where 
the bystanders discovered a fact of which they had all before 
been ignorant ; for though the archbishop had concealed 
under a canonical habit the monkish dress which he had 
secretly worn ever since his promotion, he was found to 
have worn the sackcloth shirt a thing before unheard of 
so long, that it covered his thighs also. There were also 
certain concurrents in his life which we will here briefly 
enumerate : It was on a Tuesday that the archbishop left 
the king's court at Northampton ; on Tuesday he left Eng- 
land to go into exile ; on Tuesday he returned to England, 
according to the pope's mandate ; and on Tuesday, also, he 
suffered martyrdom. Early in the morning of Wednesday, 
a report was spread abroad that the murderers had deter- 
mined to carry off the body from the church, and cast it out 
of the city to be torn in pieces by the dogs and crows ; but 
the abbat of Boxley, with the prior and convent of the church 
of Canterbury, hastily buried it, without the. usual form of 
washing it, for it was macerated by long abstinence, sub- 
dued by the shirt of sackcloth, and hallowed by the washing 
of its own blood. Many remarkable concurrents may be 
observed in this martyrdom : first, that he suffered in 
asserting justice and maintaining the liberties of the church : 
secondly, that the place of his suffering was not an ordinary 
church, but the mother of all the English churches; thirdly, 
the time, which was Christmas, when these murderers com- 
pleted their act of treason ; fourthly, that he was not a com 


mon priest, but the chief and father of all the priests in 
England ; and fifthly, that he suffered, not in one of his 
ordinary members, but on the plaee where he had received 
the tonsure of priesthood, and where the holy anointing oil 
had been shed. 

Of the kiny's repentance, and how he sent measengerx to Home to excuse 
the deed. 

King Henry was at Argenton in Normandy when he 
heard the news of this melancholy deed. At first he was 
plunged by it into the deepest distress, and changed his royal 
robes for sackcloth and ashes, calling Almighty God to wit- 
ness that the deed was done without his wish or connivance, 
except so far as he was guilty in not having lored the arch- 
bishop as lie ought. On this point he submitted himself to 
the judgment of the church, and promised to acquiesce with 
humility in whatever should be her sentence. For this pur- 
pose he sent ambassadors to make his excuse before the 
supreme pontiff, and to assert his innocence ; but the pope 
would not receive them or admit them even to kiss his feet : 
they were however afterwards received by the cardinals, but 
with nothing more than words of form. On Thursday before 
Easter, when the pope is in the habit of publicly absolving 
or excommunicating those who have deserved it, it was told 
the king of England's ambassadors that the pope had deter- 
mined, with the advice of his whole council, to pass an inter- 
dict on their master by name, throughout all his dominions, 
and to confirm that which had been passed on the archbishop 
of York and the other English bishops. In this strait the 
cardinals told the pope that the king's ambassadors had been 
instructed to swear that their master would abide by tin- 
decision of the pope and cardinals in every particular. Ac- 
cording to which suggestion the ambassadors took an oath to 
that effect, and so averted the sentence of interdict. The 
emissaries of the archbishop of York and of the other bishops 
followed their example The pope, then, on that day, excom- 
municated the wicked murderers of St. Thomas archbishop of 
Canterbury and martyr, and all who had given their advice, 
assistance, or consent to the deed, as well as all who should 
receive them into their territories or maintain them. The 
four men were at this time in the king's castle cf Knares- 
borough, where they remained a year. 

c L>" 

20 ROGEK OF WENDOVER. [A. D. 1171. 

Of the miracles which now beyun to be manifested in honour of the 
holy martyr. 

The same year, about Easter, our Lord Jesus Christ, who 
is always wonderful in his saints, began to illustrate by 
frequent miracles the laudable life, and insuperable fortitude 
in death, of his glorious martyr archbishop Thomas ; that 
seeing he had for so many years patiently endured per- 
secution, both in his own person and in that of his friends, 
he might on this account be shown to have received the 
crown of triumph which was due to his merits. From the 
tomb of the glorious martyr, no one who goes there in 
faith ever returns without profit, by whatever infirmity he 
may have been afflicted ; the lame walk, the deaf hear, the 
blind see, the dumb speak, lepers are cleansed, and dead 
bodies are raised to life; not only those of men and women, 
but even of animals and birds. 

The same year, also, on the 7th of August, king Henry 
returned to England, and visited Henry of Winchester, now 
on his death-bed, who rebuked the king for the death of the 
glorious martyr Thomas, and foretold many of the evils 
which would come upon him on account of it. The bishop 
died, full of years, the next day. 

How king Henry went to Ireland, and received the homage of certain 
of Us kings. 

On the 18th of October in that same year, king Henrv 
landed in arms on the coast of Ireland, where he received 
homage and fealty from its archbishops and bishops. The 
king of Limely, the king of Chore, and the king who bore 
the surname of One-eyed, did homage to him on oath ; but 
Roderick, king of Connaught, seeing that his dominions 
were inaccessible, in consequence of the intervening marshes, 
through which there were no fords nor bridges by which they 
might be crossed, and that it was impossible to sail over 
them, declined to meet the king. The same year, on the 
feast of St. Nicholas, at Albemarle, Roger archbishop of 
York made oatli that he had not received the pope's prohi- 
bition before the young king was crowned, and that he had 
not sworn to comply with the king's customs of England, 
and that he had not promoted the death of the glorious 
martyr Thomas, by word, or by writing, or by deed to the 


best of his knowledge ; and when he had done tin's, he was 
restored to his episcopal functions in full. 

Of the reconciliation made for the church of Canterbury after the death 
of St. Thomas. 

After the death of the blessed martyr Thomas, the church 
of Canterbury ceased for a whole year from celebrating the 
divine services, and made continual lamentations for him ; 
the pavement was torn up, the sound of the bells was sus- 
pended, the walls were stripped of their ornaments, and the 
whole church performed its obsequies in grief and humilia- 
tion, as it were in sackcloth and ashes. At the end of the 
year, on the feast of St. Thomas the apostle, the suffragan 
bishops met together at the summons of their mother the 
church of Canterbury, according to the pope's mandate, to 
restore the church squalid with its long suspension to its 
former state. Wherefore Bartholomew of Exeter, at the 
request of the fraternity, celebrated a solemn mass, and 
preached a sermon to the people beginning with these words : 
" After the multitude of my sorrows, thy consolations rejoice 
my soul." 

Of the thunders which were heard generally, and of the atonement which 
the king made for the death of St. Thomas. 

A.D. 1172. In the night of Christmas day, were heard 
thunders, generally, throughout England, Ireland, and Gaul, 
sudden and terrible, inviting mankind from divers parts to 
come and witness the new miracles of St. Thomas the martyr, 
that, as he had shed his blood for the universal church, so 
his martyrdom might be fixed in the pious memory of all 
men. At the same time, whilst king Henry was in Ireland, 
Hugh de St. Maur, and Ralph de Fay, queen Eleanor's uncle, 
began, with her approbation, as it is said, to alienate the mind 
of the young king from his father, asserting it was incon- 
sistent for any one to be a king and yet not to have due 
authority in his dominions. Meanwhile, the king his lather, 
before leaving Ireland, called a council at Lismore, where 
the laws of England were gratefully received by all, and con- 
firmed by oath. The king then placed in safe custody all the 
cities and castles which he had obtained, and, as various 
matters of business now rendered his presence necessary 

22 ROGF.R OF WENDOVER. [A.l>. 1173. 

elsewhere, he embarked on Easter day at evening and landed 
the next day in Wales, whence he proceeded to Porchester 
and crossed with a favourable wind to Normandy. Thence, 
he went without delay to meet the pope's envoys, Albert and 
Theodwine, before whom, after long and tedious discussions, 
he made oath that the death of the glorious martyr Thoma 1 * 
had not been perpetrated by his wish or with his consent, or 
brought about by any contrivance on his part ; but that, in- 
asmuch as his words spoken in anger, to the effect that he fed 
a scurvy set of knights and retainers, who were too great 
poltroons to take his part against the archbishop, had given 
an occasion to his murderers of putting the man of God to 
death, the king demanded absolution with the greatest humi 
lity. To this end he promised, at the suggestion of the 
legates, to contribute enough money to maintain two hundred 
knights for a year in defending the holy land, to allow 
appeals to be made without impediment to the Roman see, to 
annul the customs which had been introduced in his own 
times contrary to the church's liberties, and to restore to the 
church of Canterbury all that had been taken from it since 
the archbishop's departure, and to allow those of both sexes 
who had been exiled in behalf of the blessed martyr, to 
return home and resume possession of their property ; all 
these points the king swore to fulfil, according to the injunc- 
tion of our lord the pope, for the remission of his sins. The 
same oath was also taken by the young king, Henry's son, 
who, immediately afterwards, in the month of August, crossed 
with his spouse Margaret into England, and on the 20th of 
the same month, at Winchester, Rotroc archbishop of Rouen, 
with the assistance of the suffragan bishops of Canterbury, 
crowned the aforesaid Margaret queen of England. The 
same year, Gilbert bishop of London, having made oath that 
to the best of his knowledge he had not promoted the deatli 
of St. Thomas the martyr by word, deed, or writing, was 
restored to his episcopal office. 

Of the marriage of John the kind's snn, and of tlic election to the ace of 

A.D. 1173. King Henry obtained in marriage for his son 
John, named Lack-land,* the eldest daughter of Hubert 

* In French Sans-terre, in Wcndovcr's Latin, Sine-terra. 


count of Maurienne, by his wife the widow of Henry duke of 
Saxony, though she was hardly seven years old. The same 
year, also, Robert abbat of Bee was elected archbishop of 
Canterbury on the 7th of March at Lambeth, in presence of 
the suffragan bishops of that province, but the abbat 
altogether declined to be elected, whether from weakness or 
from religious motives we are not informed. 

The same year the young king Henry, walking in the 
counsels of the wicked, left his father, and withdrew to the 
court of his father-in-law the king of France ; upon which, 
Richard duke of Aquitaine, and Geoffrey count of Brittany, 
by the advice as was said of his mother queen Eleanor, chose 
to follow their brother rather than their father. Thus se- 
ditions were engendered on both sides, with rapine and 
conflagration, whereby, if we believe aright, God, to punish 
king Henry for his conduct towards St. Thomas, raised up 
against him his own flesh and blood, namely his sons, who 
persecuted him to death, as the following history will show. 
The same year Ralph de Warneville, sacristan of Rouen and 
treasurer of York, was made chancellor of England. About 
the same time, at the instance of the cardinals Albert and 
Theodwine, Henry king of England conceded that the 
elections to vacant churches should be freely made, and the 
following appointments took place with the consent of the 
king's justiciary Richard archdeacon of Poictiers to the see 
of Winchester ; Geoffrey archdeacon of Canterbury to that of 
Ely ; Geoffrey archdeacon of Lincoln to that of Lincoln ; 
Reginald archdeacon of Salisbury to that of Batli ; Robert 
archdeacon of Oxford to that of Hereford ; and John dean 
of Chichester to the bishopric of that same church. 

Of the election of Richard to the archbishopric of Canterbury, and ttie 
canonisation of St. Thomas. 

The same year, on the 9th of July, the suffragan bishops 
of the province of Canterbury, with the seniors of the 
monastery, elected Richard prior of Dover to the arch- 
bishopric ; and immediately the bishop-elect swore fealty to 
the king, " saving his order," and no mention wa made of 
observing the customs of the kingdom. This took place at 
Westminster in the chapel of Saint Catharine, with the con- 
sent of the king's justiciary. In the council, also, was read 

24 ROGEU OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1173. 

the pope's letter in the audience of all the bishops and 
barons, containing, besides other matter, the following: 
" We admonish all your fraternity, and, by our apostolical 
authority, strictly command you to celebrate every year the 
day of the glorious martyr Thomas, namely, the day on 
which he suffered, and endeavour by votive prayers to him 
to obtain pardon for your sins, that he who for Christ's sake 
bravely endured exile during his life and martyrdom in 
death, may intercede to God for us through the earnest sup- 
plications of the faithful." This letter was hardly read, 
Avhen all raised their voices on high, and cried, " We praise 
thee, OGod!" Because, moreover, his suffragans had not 
shown due reverence to their father when he was in exile, or 
on his return from thence, but rather had persecuted him, 
all publicly confessed their error and sin by the mouth of 
one of them, as follows : " Be present, Lord, to these our 
supplications, tnat we who for our sin know ourselves to be 
guilty, may be released by the intercession of St. Thomas 
thy martyr and high-priest." The same year, Mary, the 
sister of the same holy martyr, was by the king's orders 
made abbess of Barking. Also, the young king Henry laid 
siege to the castle of Gornai, and therein made prisoners 
Hugh the lord of the castle and his son, with twenty-four 
knights : the castle itself he burned, and compelled the towns- 
people to pay ransom. The same year, also, Robert earl of 
Leicester, and William de Tankerville, with many counts 
and barons, left king Henry and went over to the young 

The king of France invades Normandy with an army. 

The same year, Louis king of France assembled a nume- 
rous army to lay waste Normandy ; and entering that 
province, laid siege to Albemarle, and forced William its 
lord, with count Simon and several other nobles, to surren- 
der, lie then took the castle of Dricncourt, and placed a 
garrison therein, and marching thence to the castle of Arches, 
lost on his way the count of Boulogne, whereupon the count 
of Flanders, grieved at his brother's death, returned to his 
own country. The elder king Henry wa^ all this time at 

a Tliis year, cilso, the prudent and religious al>lwt of Reading, William 
by name, was elevated to the archiepi&cojial bee of liourdeaux." M. PARIS. 


Rouen, apparently unconcerned at what was going on, and 
more than usually intent on the chase, whilst to all who 
came to him he presented a cheerful and smiling countenance. 
But those whom he had maintained about him from his 
earliest years now fell off from him, for they thought that 
his son had every prospect of soon being king in his stead. 
The king of France was now, with the young king, besieging 
Verneuil, when king Henry sent messengers to him, warning 
him to leave Normandy without delay, or he would march 
against him on that very day. The king of France, knowing 
the king of England to be a most powerful prince and of a 
most bitter temper, chose to retreat rather than to tight ; 
wherefore he withdrew from before the face of king Henry, 
and retired with all speed into France. 

Of the destruction of Leicester. 

The same year, on the 4th of July, by the king's com- 
mand, the city of Leicester is said to have been besieged, 
because the earl, its lord, had left the king and taken part 
with the young king his son. When the greater part of the 
city had been burned, the citizens began to treat of peace, on 
condition of paying three hundred marks to the king, and 
having leave to remove to whatever place they chose. 
Permission was therefore granted them to go and reside in 
the king's cities or castles,* and after their departure the 
gates of the city and part of the walls were destroyed, and a 
truce granted to the soldiers in the castle until the feast of 
St. Michael ; and thus on the 28th of July the siege was at 
an end. After this, William king of Scotland claimed of 
the king the province of Northumberland, granted to his 
grandfather king David, who had held it for some time, but 
the English king refused it him ; upon which William, collect- 
ing an army of Welsh and Scots, marched securely across 
the territories of the bishop of Durham, burned several vil- 

* Matthew Paris here makes the following insertion : " The nobles of 
the city were dispersed ; and having offended the king by the defence ol 
their city, they sought a place of refuge to avoid his threats ami an^er. 
They therefore fled to the territory of St. Alban's the proto-niartyr of Kng- 
land, and to the town of St. Edmund's the king and martyr, as if t.> a pro- 
tecting bosom, because these martyrs were at that time held in such great 
reverence, that the inhabitants of those places afforded an a\lun> and sate 
protection from their enemies to all refugees." 

26 EOGEIl OF WENDOVER. [A. D. 1173. 

lages, and slaying both men, women, and children, carried 
off an incalculable booty. To repel the invader, the English 
nobles assembled together, and forcing William to retire, fol- 
lowed him into Lothian, and devastating the whole of that 
country with fire and sword, made spoil of all they found in 
the fields, and at last, at the instance of the Scottish king 
himself, they made a truce until the feast of Hilary, and 
returned victorious to England. 

How the earl of Leicester and the count of Flanders were taken and 

When Robert earl of Leicester heard what had happened to 
his city, he was filled with grief, and crossing through Flanders 
with his wife on his way to England, assembled there a large 
number of Normans and Flemings, both horse and foot, and 
setting sail, landed at Walton in Suffolk on the 29th of Sep- 
tember. He immediately laid siege to the castle, but with- 
out success, and marching thence on the 13th of October, 
assaulted and burned the castle of Hagenet, where he captured 
thirty knights, and compelled them to pay ransom. He then 
returned to Frcmingham ; but as his sojourn gave umbrage 
to Hugh Bigod lord of the castle, he turned his thoughts 
towards Leicester, and marched in that direction. On his 
way he endeavoured to surprise St. Edmundbury, but 
was prevented by the king's army that was stationed to 
guard that part of the country. The earl, therefore, sur- 
rounded by a strong force, and having with him three 
thousand Flemings, in whom he placed especial confidence, 
determined to risk a battle. The engagement began accord- 
ingly, and after various vicissitudes, the earl, his countess, with 
all the Flemings, Normans, and French, were taken prisoners. 
This happened on the IGth of October. The countess had 
on her finger a beautiful ring, which she flung into the 
neighbouring river, rather than suffer the enemy to make 
such gain by capturing her. At length the greater part of 
the Flemings were slain, others of them were drowned, and 
the remainder made prisoners. 

How king Henry took prisoners many of hit enemies. 

Whilst king Henry the father was stopping in Normandy, 
it was told him that his own troops with the men of Brabant 


and the routiers had surprised the choicest of his son's troops 
and was blockading them in the city of Dole. Immediately 
upon receiving this news, he took horse, and the next morn- 
ing reached the camp, and received the surrender of the 
enemy after a few days' resistance: but, before his arrival, 
the greatest part of them had been slain by his own routiers. 
Among the prisoners were Ralph earl of Chester, who had 
only a short time previously deserted to his son, Ralph de 
Fulgeriis, William Patrick, Ralph de la Haie, Hasc'ulph d<- 
St. llilaire, besides eighty knights. The same year the 
English nobles marched with a very large army to check the 
pride of Hugh Bigod ; but when things were in such a 
position that all thought he might easily have been 
vanquished, money passed between them, and a truce wa> 
made until Whit Sunday, whilst fourteen thousand armed 
Flemings escorted him safely through Essex and Kent, and 
at Dover he was furnished with ships to cross the channel. 
The same year the archbishop elect of Canterbury went to 
Rome, attended by the bishop of Bath. 

How the castle of Axiholme was taken and a large body of men captured. 

A.D. 1174. Roger de Mowbray renounced his fealty to the 
old king and repaired a ruined castle in the island of 
Axiholrne,* but a large number of the Lincolnshire men 
crossed over in boats and laying siege to the castle, compelled 
the constable and all the knights to surrender : they then 
again reduced the fortress to ruins. On the last day of 
April, the old king hearing that his son Richard had seized 
the castle of Santonge, marched with the men of Poictou to 
recover it. Richard's knights, showing no reverence either 
to God or the church, entered the cathedral, and converting 
it into a castle, filled it with armed men and provisions. Tin- 
king, being informed that the enemy occupied three strong- 
holds, prepared to attack them : two of them were im- 
mediately reduced, and he then approached the cathedral 
which was full of soldiers and loose characters, not to attack 
it but to purify it from its desecration. Altogether, reckon- 
ing both those who were in the church and those who were 
taken elsewhere, sixty knights and four hundred cross-bow- 
men were made prisoners. In this manner tranquillity 

* Hovcden calls this castle Kinardeferie. 

28 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A. D. 1174. 

having been restored to those parts, Henry was obliged to 
return to Normandy ; for Philip count of Flanders, in the 
presence of Louis king of France and the nobles of that king- 
dom, had sworn on the holy Gospels, that within fifteen days 
after the approaching feast of St. John, he would invade 
England in force, and reduce it under subjection to the 
young king. Elated by this prospect young Henry came to 
Witsand on the 14th of July, with the intention of sending 
over Ralph de la Haie with an army to England : the earl of 
Flanders sent forwards three hundred and eighteen veteran 
knights to be transported over also, who, soon after they 
landed at Arwell,* on the 10th of June, immediately joined 
Hugh Bigod the earl. Proceeding at once to Norwich they 
took that city on the 28th of June and obtained there a large 
booty, besides compelling many captives, whom they took 
there, to pay a large sum of money for their ransom. The 
king's justiciary seeing this, by common consent sent Richard 
bishop elect of Winchester, to inform the king of the dangers 
which threatened England. The bishop, crossing without 
delay into Normandy, laid before the king a faithful account 
of all that was going on in England. 

How the king, returning to England, paidn visit to the tomb of St. Thomaf, 
to pray there. 

The king received the bishop with due respect, and 
immediately prepared to cross over into England, taking 
with him queen Eleanor, queen Margaret, his son John, and 
his daughter Joanna. He also sent forward the earl and 
countess of Leicester with other prisoners, to Barbefleuve, 
where he went on board ship with a large army, but the wind 
proving unfavourable, the seamen were afraid to venture out 
that day. The king, perceiving that the sea was rough, 
raised his eyes to heaven, and uttered these words in the 
presence of all his people: "If my intentions are directed to 
maintain peace both for my clergy and people, if the King of 
heaven has decreed to restore tranquillity in my kingdom 
when J arrive there, may he then grant that I may reach the 
shore in safety : but if his anger is roused, and he has 
decreed to visit the kingdom of England with the rod of his 
fury, may he never suffer me to reach the shores of that 

Near Harwich. 


country !" When he had finished this prayer, he set sail 
that same day, and after a fair passage reached Southampton 
in safety. He then fasted on bread and water, and would 
not enter any city, until he had fulfilled the vow which he 
had made in his mind to pray at the tomb of St. T human 
archbishop of Canterbury and glorious martyr. When he 
came near Canterbury, he dismounted from his horse, and 
laying aside all the emblems of royalty, with naked feet, and 
in the form of a penitent and supplicating pilgrim, arrived 
at the cathedral on Friday the 13th of June, arid like 
Ilezekiah, with tears and sighs, sought the tomb of the 
glorious martyr, where, prostrate on the floor, and with his 
hands stretched to heaven, he continued long in prayer. 
Meanwhile the bishop of London was commanded by tin- 
king to declare, in a sermon addressed to the people, that he 
had neither commanded, nor wished, nor by any device con- 
trived the death of the martyr, which had been perpetrated 
in consequence of his murderers having misinterpreted the 
words which the king had hastily pronounced: wherefore he 
requested absolution from the bishops present, and baring his 
back, received from three to five lashes from every one of the 
numerous body of ecclesiastics who were there assembled.* 
The king then resumed his garments, and made costly offer- 
ings to the martyr ; assigning forty pounds yearly for candles 
to be burned round his tomb: the remainder of the day and 
the following night were spent in grief and bitterness ot 
mind. For three days the king took no sustenance, giving 
himself up to prayer, vigils, and fasting: by which means the 
favour of the blessed martyr was secured, and, on the very 
Saturday on which he prayed that indulgence might be 
shown him, God delivered into his hands William king of 
Scots, who was forthwith confined in Richmond castle. On 
that same day, also, the ships which the young king his son 
had assembled in order to invade England, were dispersed 
by the weather and almost lost, and the young king was 
driven back to the coast of France. 

The capture of William the king nf Si-ntland. 
The mode in which the Scottish king became a prisoner, 

* It may he safely pivsiimed that the lushes administered to rmal 
shoulders on this oceucvr. verc not laid on with the utmost (.event v of the 

30 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1174. 

was, briefly, as follows. He invaded Northumberland, as he 
had done the year before, for the purpose of uniting it to his 
own dominions : but the nobles of that part of the country 
met him in arms, and after a pitched battle, took him 
prisoner. So many of those Scottish vermin were slain that 
the number exceeds all calculation. The king was placed in 
custody at Richmond castle, thereby fulfilling the prophecy of 
Merlin, " A rein shall be placed upon his jaws, fabricated in 
the bosom of Armorica;" i. e. the castle of Richmond, which 
was at that time possessed by Armorican princes, and had 
been so from ancient times. 

To form a true estimate of the benefits which resulted to 
the king from his penitence at the tomb of the martyr and 
the intercession which the saint made for him, we must con- 
sider the sequel of our history. When the king had finished 
his prayers, he went to London where he was received with 
respect by the people, and from thence he went to Hunting- 
don, where he besieged and took the castle on the 19th of 
July. There the knights of the earl of Leicester came and 
surrendered to him the castles of Grobi and Mountsorel, that 
he might show greater consideration towards their master. 
On the 22nd of July, the Northern nobles, with the bishop 
fleet of Lincoln,* the king's son, at their head, reduced 
Malessart the castle of Roger de Mowbray ; and troops now 
coming in on all sides, Henry determined to besiege the two 
castles of Hugh Bigod, Bungay, and Framingham : but the 
earl, having no hope of successful resistance, gave hostages 
and paid a thousand marks, by which means he obtained 
peace on the 2oth of July. The army of Flemings, who had 
been sent over by count Philip, were then allowed to return, 
out first compelled to make oath that they would not again 
invade England. The troops of the young king, also, com- 
manded by Ralph de la Haye, left England without impedi- 
ment. Moreover Robert earl of Ferrars and Roger de 
Mowbray, whose castles of Thirsk and Stutbury were at that 
time besieged by the king, sent heralds and asked for peace. 
William earl of Gloeeater, and Richard earl of Clare, met the 
king, and promised implicit obedience to his command.-*. 
Thus this glorious king having conquered all his enemies and 
restored peace to England, crossed into Normandy on the 
* (.iroffri-y 1'lantagenet. 



7th of July, attended by his prisoners, the king of Scotland, 
the earl of Leicester, and Hugh de Ca.stello. 

How the king of France abandoned the air ye of Ilouen. 

When king Henry landed in Normandy, on the llth of 
July, he found the city of Rouen besieged ; for Lou in king 
of France and the young king Henry, with the count of 
Flanders, had assembled a large force in the absence of the 
king, and severely pressed the citizens ; but when the king 
of France heard that the king of England was coming, he 
retreated, not without some detriment to his reputation, and 
the English soldiers seized on a large quantity of his arms 
and munitions of war. The same year, the archbishop of 
Canterbury returned from Rome, bringing back with him the 
pall and the primacy of England. Arriving at London on 
the 30th of August, he convoked the principal clergy be- 
longing to the vacant churches, which had lately elected fresh 
prelates, and confirmed and consecrated the bishops elect of 
Winchester, Ely, Hereford, and Chichester : but Geoffrey, 
bishop elect of Lincoln, whose election had not yet been con- 
tinued, crossed the sea, with the intention of sending mes- 
sengers to Rome, or going there in his own person. 

I low nil the king's sons made prare with their father. 

A. i>. 1175. Louis king of France and the count of 
Flanders, beginning to feel the expenses which they had in- 
curred in the cause of the young king of England, and re- 
flecting on the loss of life and property which had fallen on 
their subjects, promised to abstain from invading Normandy ; 
and did their best to reconcile the king with his sons, who, 
as they well knew, had incurred their father's malediction, 
the hatred of the. clergy, and the imprecations of the whole 
people. The king, therefore, informed by the report of the 
messengers that all his adversaries were reduced to re- 
pentance, arranged to meet them at Mans, where his 
sons Geoffrey and Richard first did homage to him, and 
took the. oath of fealty. After a few days, the young king, 
with the archbishops of Rouen, and many other bishops and 
barons, came before the old king at Him- in Normandy, and 
throwing himself at his lather's feet, implored his mercy. 
The king, his father, moved with affection towards his son, 

32 ttOGEK OF WENUOVEK. [A.D. 117.3. 

whom he ardently loved, and perceiving his sincerity, he 
was no longer angry with him, but received his homage and 
oath of fidelity. When peace was fully made, and ratified 
all round by a kiss, the king released without ransom nine 
hundred and sixty-nine knights, whom he had taken in the 
war; but a few, whose excessive misdeeds had provoked him. 
in spite of his merciful inclinations, to anger, were com- 
mitted to still closer confinement. The young king, also, 
released without ransom all the knights whom he had taken 
in war, amounting in number to more than one hundred. 
Then the king, his father, sent letters into all parts of his 
dominions to inform them of the reconciliation which had 
taken place, that, as they had suffered generally by the war, 
they might now rejoice in the re-establishment of peace. 
The letters also notified that all castles which had been for- 
tified against him during the war, should be reduced to the 
state in which they were before hostilities commenced.* 

William, the king of Scotland, makes peace with king Henry. 

The same year William king of Scotland, who was pri- 
soner at Falaise, made peace with the king of England on 
the 8th of December, on the following terms. The king of 
Scotland declared himself the liegeman of the king of 
England, for the kingdom of Scotland and all his dominions, 
and did homage and allegiance to him as his especial lord. 
and to Henry, the king's son, saving his faith to his father : 
and in the same way all the bishops, with the earls and 
barons of Scotland, 1'rom whom the king wished to receive 
homage and fealty, and not only for themselves but for their 
successors, to the king and to his successors for ever, without 
mental reservation of any kind. Moreover, the king of 
Scots and all his men promised that they would not harbour 
in any part of their dominions fugitives out of England, but 
would arrest them and give them up to the king of England 

* " In the same year, a general council was held at Westminster on the 
fifteenth day of June, of which Hichard archbishop of Canterbury and 
legate of the apostolic s e, was president. linger of Yoik re- 
fused to attend. Reginald earl of Cornwall died in this year. Hugh 
Petroleonis, a cardinal deacon, came us Irg.ite to England, and gained 
favour in the sigh', of the king by granting the power of handing priest* 
over to the aecular authority, for fmfeiture 'f land and lay demesnes." 


and to his justices. As a guarantee for the observance of 
this treaty, the king of Scotland gave up to king Henry and 
his successors the castles of Berwick and Roxburgh* for 
ever ; and, if the king of Scotland should ever contravene 
this treaty, the bishops, earls, and barons of Scotland under- 
took to oppose him, and the bishops to lay his kingdom 
under an interdict, until lie should return to his duty towards 
the king of England. Thus king William gave hostages, 
and returned to England in free custody, until the castles 
should be surrendered according to his bargain with the 
king. And many of the fortresses which had been raised 
through England and Normandy, during the dissension 
between the father and son, were now, by the king's com- 
mand, destroyed. 
How the (wo kings, father and son, paid a visit to the tomb of St. Thomas. 

A.D. 1176. The kings of England, father and son, on 
their return to England, ate every day at the same table, 
and slept every night in the same bedroom. They also 
together visited the blessed martyr St. Thomas, to offer up 
their prayers and vows at his tomb ; after which they went 
through England, promising justice to everyone, both clergy 
and laity, which promise they afterwards fully performed. 
The same year, William de Brause, having craftily as- 
sembled a multitude of the Welsh in the castle of Aber- 
gavenny, forbade travellers to carry a knife or bow, but 
when they opposed this decree, he condemned them all to 
capital punishment. That you may understand how he 
palliated his treachery under the cloak of right, he per- 
petrated this deed to avenge his uncle, Henry of Hereford, 
whom they had slain on the previous Easter Saturday. The 
same year, Richard archbishop of Canterbury, appointed 
three archdeacons, Savary, Nicholas, and Herbert, in his 
diocese, though up to this time it had been content witli one 
archdeacon. The same year John dean of Salisbury was 
consecrated bishop of Norwich, and not long after, the 
king of England rased to the ground the castles of Leicester. 
Huntingdon, Walton, Grobi, Stutsbury, Hay, and Tliirsk. 
besides many others, in return for the injuries which the 
lords of those castles had often done to him. I It 1 then, by 

* Also the castles of Jedlmrsli. Kdinliuri;h, and Stirling. 

34 ROGER OF WENDOVER, [A.D. 1176. 

the advice of his son and the bishops, appointed justices 
through six districts of his kingdom, in each part three, who 
made oath that they would do full justice to every body. 

How the king granted four articles to Peter the legate of the Roman see. 

About this time Petro-Leonis, the pope's legate, came to 
England, and the king conceded to him the four articles 
following, to be observed in the kingdom of England. First, 
that for the future no clerk should be dragged in person 
before any secular judge, for any crime or transgression, 
except in the matter of the forest or a lay-fee, for which lay- 
service is due to the king or to any other lord : secondly, 
that archbishoprics, bishoprics, and abbacies should not be held 
in the king's hand beyond a year, except for an evident 
cause or urgent necessity : thirdly, that murderers of clerks, 
convicted or confessed, should be punished before the king's 
justiciary, in presence of the bishop: fourthly, that clerks 
should not be compelled to serve in war. The same year, 
Johanna, the king's daughter, who had been promised in 
marriage to the king of Sicily, was on the 9th of No- 
vember, at St. Giles's, delivered to her husband in the sight 
of an illustrious company of persons, who witnessed it ; and 
at the same time, all the castles in England were given into 
custody by the king's orders. Also, William earl of Gloucester 
not having a son, and unwilling tliat his inheritance should 
be divided between his daughters, constituted the king's son, 
John Lack-laud, his heir.* 

How foreign kings submitted their differences to the decision of the king 
of England. 

About this time, Alphonso king of Castile, son-in-law of 
the king of England, and Sancho king of Navarre, his uncle, 
being at variance, sent ambassadors to the king of England, 
and promised to abide by his decision. When the ambas- 
sadors appeared at Westminster before the king, bishops, 

* Matthew Paris adds : " Hugh Petro-Leonis, after fulfilling his em- 
bassy, set sail. King Henry gave his youngest daughter to the king of 
Apuleia, and crossed sea on the '27th of August. Richard earl of Strigot le 
died j William earl of Arundel also died on the 12th of October, at 
Waverley, and was buried at Wimundhum, a cell of the church of St. 
Alban's, of which he was known to have Iteen a patron. Walter, also, 
prior of Winchester, was made abbat of Westminster." 


carls, and barons, it was asserted on the part of Alphoriso, 
that whilst he was still a minor and an orphan, Sanchn king 
of Navarre had taken from him, unjustly and by violent 1 *-, 
the castles and lands of Logtoium, Navarret, Anthlena, Aptol. 
and Agosen, with their appurtenances, which had belonged 
to Alphonso's father before he died, and which Alphonso 
himself had since for some years possessed ; for which 
reason they claimed restitution for their sovereign. Tilt- 
ambassadors of Sancho, on the other hand, did not deny 
these facts, but asserted that Alphonso had taken by force 
from Sancho the castles of Login, Portel, and that held by 
(iodin; and, as the opposite party did not contradict, they 
with equal urgency claimed restitution for their master. 
They also acknowledged publicly that a truce had been 
made for seven years, on oath, between the parties. When 
the king of England had counselled with his bishops, earls, 
and barons on the subject of this quarrel, as it appeared 
that neither party denied the acts of violence on either side, 
and there appeared to be, no reason why mutual restitution 
should not be made, the king decided that both parties 
should give up what they had taken, that the truce should 
be observed up to its full period, and that, for the sake of 
peace, Alphonso should pay to Sancho every year for ten 
years three thousand marabotins,* and on these, terms there 
should be final peace and friendship between the two. Jn 
these days, ambassadors from Manuel emperor of Constan- 
tinople, from the Roman emperor Frederic, from William 
archbishop of Treves, from Ilenry duke of Saxony, and 
Philip count of Flanders, each engaged on his own separate 
business, met together in the king's court at Westminster, as 
if by agreement, on the 12th of November. We mention 
this fact, in proof of the estimation in which all the world 
held the wisdom and magnificence of the king, as was 
evinced by all of them applying to him for advice and settle- 
ment of their disputes. 

Of the removal of the srculiir cunons from Waltham church. 
A.I). 1177. The canons, called secular, were removed 
from the church of Waltham, and regular canons introduced 

* The tnarnbotin or mnrnbitin was a Ppnnish poll coin, flu- exact value 
of which is unknown ; but it was probably borrownl from the Moors. The 
modern muravetli is, on the contrary, of n diminuti\e value. 


36 ROGER OF WENIK)VER. [.V.D. 1178. 

in their places, by the authority of the supreme pontiff, on 
Whitsun-eve, by the command of the king, who was also 
present on the occasion : and the same day, Ralph canon of 
Chichester received the government of the same church 
from the hands of the bishop of London, to whom, as his 
diocesan, he bound himself in express words to pay canonical 
obedience ; after which he was introduced into the church in 
company with the brethren, appointed by the bishop to be 
their prior, and solemnly enthroned.* The king of England, 
now, having settled the affairs of the kingdom to his wish, 
crossed to Normandy on the 18th of August, and held a con- 
ference with the king of France, at which the following 
treaty was concluded : " I Louis king of France and I, 
Henry king of England, hereby notify to all men, that w<- 
have, by God's inspiration, promised and confirmed on oath, 
to enter the service of our crucified Saviour, and, taking the 
cross, to go to Jerusalem ; and that it is our wish to be 
friends, and to maintain one another in life, limb, and worldly 
honour against all men : and if any one shall presume to 
injure either of us, I Henry, will assist Louis king of France, 
as my lord, against all men ; and I Louis, will help Henry 
king of England, as my faithful man, against all men, saving 
the faith which we owe to our own men, as long as they 
shall continue faithful to us." This took place at Minancourt 
on the 25th of September. 

Of Ike foundation of Westwood monastery. 

A.D. 1178. Richard de Lucy, justiciary of England, on 
the llth of June, laid the foundations of a conventual 
church in honour of St. Thomas the martyr, at a place called 
Westwood,f in the territory of Rochester. Also, king 

* Matthew Paris adds the following : " In the same year, too, Philip 
count of Flanders and William de Magnaville set out for Jerusalem. The 
emperor Frederic did homage to pope Alexander; for he heard that when 
that pontiff was flying from the persecution of the emperor, and the 
journey by land was unsafe for him, he took ship, and a storm having 
arisen, he put on all the papal decorations, as if he was poir> to celebrate 
muss, and standing up on board, he commanded the sea an<) winds, like 
Jesus Christ, whose vicar he said he was, and there w;is a calm immediately. 
On hearing this, the emperor was astounded, and by humiliating himself, 
appeased the pope, more, however, through fear of God. than man; and 
thua the quarrel ended." 

t Called also Lesncs abbey. 


Henry, having now secured the fortresses throughout all his 
dominions, from the Pyrenees to the British ocean, and 
settling everything to his wish, on the 13th of June visited 
the tornhof St. Thomas the martyr, and shortly after, on the 
6th of August, at Woodstock, made his son Geoffrey a 
belted knight. 

Of lite revelation made to a certain man concerning St. Amphiialns. 

The same year there was a certain man who lived at his 
native town, St. Alhan's, and enjoyed a character free 
from reproach among his countrymen. From his youth up 
to the present time, he lived honestly, as far as the mediocrity 
of his fortune allowed, and was a devout attendant at the 
church. Whilst this man lay in bed one night, about the 
time of cock-crowing, a man of tall and majestic mien 
entered his apartment, clad in white, and holding in his hand 
a beautiful wand. The whole house shone at his entrance, 
and the chamber was as light as at noon-day. Approaching 
the bed, lie asked in a gentle voice. "Robert, are you 
asleep ?" Robert, trembling with fear and wonder, replied, 
"Who art thou, lord ?" " 1 am," said he, ''the martyr St. 
Alban, and am come to tell you the Lord's will concerning 
my master, the clerk, who taught me the faith of Christ, for, 
though his fame is so great among mankind, the place of his 
sepulture is still unknown, though it is the belief of the 
faithful that it will be revealed to future ages. Rise there- 
fore, with speed, put on your clothes and follow me, and I 
will show you the spot where his precious remains are 
buried." Robert, therefore, rising from his bed, :is it 
seemed, followed him, and they went together through the 
public streets towards the north, until they came to a plain 
which had lain for ages uncultivated near the high road.* 

Matthew Paris adds the following : " On thrir way they conversed 
with one another, as is the custom amongst friends travelling together, at 
one time of the walls of the ruined city, at another of the decrease of the 
river, of the common street adjoining the city ; then the discourse turned 
to the arrival in the city of the blessed Amphihalus, their master ; hi 
departure to be lamented by them, and of the passion of both. And 
whatever questions Robert wished to ask, the martyr readily answered 
them. It happened that as they were conversing they were met hy some 
traders of Dunstnble, who were hastening to be in the market at the town 
of St. Albun't on the morrow, to transact some hu-ir.e there; anil tho 
martyr having foretold their approach, said, " Let us turn for a little. 

38 ROGER OF WEXDOVER. [A. D. 1178. 

Its surface was level, furnishing au agreeable pasturage for 
cattle, and resting place for weary travellers, at a village 
called Kedburn, about three miles from St. Alban's. In 
this plain were two eminences, called the " Hills of the 
banners," because there used to be assemblies of the faithful 
people held round them, when, according to an ancient 
custom, they yearly made a solemn procession to the church 
of St. Alban, and offered prayers. Here St. Alban turned a 
little out of the way, and seizing the man's hand, led him to 
one of the mounds, which contained the sepulchre of the 
blessed martyr. " Here," said he, turning to his follower, 
" lie the remains of my master ;" and then, opening the 
ground a little, in the shape of a cross with the man's 
thumb, and turning up a portion of the turf, he opened :\ 
small chest, from which a brilliant light came forth, and 
filled first the whole of the west, and then the whole 
world with its rays, after which the chest again closed, and 
the plain was restored to its former appearance. The man wad 
astonished, and asked the saint what he should do. " Notice 
the spot carefully," said the saint, " and remember what I 
have shown you. The time shall soon come when the in- 
formation which I have privately given to you shall turn out 
to the benefit of many. Rise now," continued lie, " let us 
be going, and return to the place whence we came." As 
they were on their way home, the saint entered his own 
church, and the man, returning to his house, went to bed 

How the man disclosed the vision tchich he had seen. 

In the morning the man awoke, and was much disturbed 
in mind, doubting whether or not he should disclose to others 
what he had seen in the vision, or, as he rather believed, in 

till those who are approaching shall pass, that they may not delay our 
journey by asking questions ;" for the road shone from his presence ; anil 
this came to pass. When they had got about half way on their journey, 
at a place where two trees had been thrown down, the martyr said, "To 
this place I brought my master, the blessed Amphibalus, when, for the hu-t 
time during his life on earth, we conversed together, weeping, as we were 
then on the point of separating from one another." And if the shining 
light which proceeded from the martyr had not dazzled the sight of 
Robert, and Robert himself had not been restrained by fear and by hia 
simplicity, the saint would have informed him of many other things pat 
and future. 


reality: for he feared lest he should offend God if he con- 
cealed it, and incur the ridicule of mankind if he told it. 
In this state of doubt the fear of God prevailed ; and, 
although he did not proclaim it publicly, yet he communicated 
it to his dome-stics and private friends. They, however, at 
once published in open day what had been told them in the 
darkness, and what they had heard in the ear they pro- 
claimed upon the house-tops. Thus the story was spread 
throughout the whole province, so that the inhabitants 
thronged the cloister of St. Alban's monastery. At last 
the happy report reached Simon, the abbat, by whose in- 
lluence, next to God, it acquired great importance. He im- 
mediately gave praise and thanks to God, and having held a 
council of the brethren, chose some of them to proceed to 
the spot, to which the man above mentioned should guide 
them. Meantime, the whole convent at home prayed de- 
voutly to God ; while the brethren, appointed for the pur- 
pose, proceeded to the spot where they hoped to find the 
relics of the martyr. When they reached the spot, 
they found there a large multitude, who had met to- 
gether from divers parts of the country, led by the Holy 
Spirit, to witness the discovery of the martyr's relics. 
Whilst they all waited for the event, the man aforesaid led 
the brethren to the plain where the bodies of the saints lay. 
It Avas the Friday before the feast of St. Alban's when this 
was done. From that day, until the bodies of the saints 
were removed, there was always a watch kept over that 
spot, the brethren of the abbey assisting the laity in this duty. 
Meanwhile, the convent entered upon a stricter rule of 
life, and proclaimed to the people a solemn occasion for 
prayer and fasting. This place, in which the relics were 
hereafter to be found, now bore the appearance of a market, 
and when one party, who from devotion visited the spot, 
left it, another party arrived. 

Of two women who were cured by visiting the saint. 

Signs of well-attested miracles began now to be exhibited, 
whilst the martyrs were still beneath the ground, giving 
hopes of the greater works which they would do hereafter. 
For a woman of Gatesden, who had been bound ten years 
with a weakness of the shoulders and loins, and had been on 

40 ROGER OF WEXDOVER. [A. I). 1178. 

account of her infirmity, an object of dislike to her husband, 
left her native place, and passing through Redburn, lay down 
to sleep near the place where the martyrs were buried, nor 
did she rise from thence until she was wholly cured. Another 
woman of Dunstable, named Cecilia, had the dropsy, which 
gave her the appearance of being pregnant, and she also was 
restored to health by a visit to the spot. Also, a girl, five 
years old, who had never walked since her birth, but was 
always carried by her parents, was placed near the same 
spot, in the sight of many faithful witnesses, and after a 
short sleep, rose up and ran upon her feet, to the great joy 
of her parents. Meanwhile, the day of St. Alban's martyr- 
dom arrived, and, famous as is that day in itself, it was 
made still more so, by the publication of these miracles. 
The faithful were admonished to give alms more largely, to 
use abstinence in diet, and the solemn procession was re- 
peated the next day. But the days which still intervened, 
did not pass in idle talk, for up to the very hour of the 
discovery of the relics, evident miracles were performed. A 
man of Kingsbury laughed at those v.'ho were digging for 
saints, and coming with the rest to the spot, though with 
very different thoughts from theirs, he was immediately 
seized with madness, tore his clothes, and instead of de- 
riding the diggers, became now a spectacle to them. When 
he had been tormented some time in the sight of all who 
were present, the hand of God ceased to punish him, and he 
returned safe, though chastened, to his home. Another man 
also laughed at them for digging for saints, and was also 
struck with the divine vengeance, for in the midst of speak- 
ing he was violently seized, and breathed out on the spot 
his blaspheming spirit. One Algar of Dunstable came to 
the spot with a cart, in which was a cask of ale for sale : 
a poor sick man came up to him and begged of him, for the 
love of the martyr, to give him a small draught to quench 
his thirst. Algar, incensed at his request, said he had not 
come there out of regard to the martyr, but to make profit 
by the sale of his goods. Whilst he was thus abusing the 
poor man, both ends of his cask fell out, the beer ran upon 
the ground, and by the saint's interference, not only the poor 
man who had been denied the least drop of it, but also many 
others with him, falling upon their knees, drank as much as 


they pleased, for no one prevented them. Thus, by the 
martyr's agency, the wickedness of the perverse was re- 
pressed, and the devotion of the faithful met with its reward ; 
for during the three following days, ten persons of both 
sexes were cured of different diseases, to the praise of God 
and of his holy martyr. 

The discovery of St. A mphibalus and his nine companions. 

On the morning of the day when the bodies of the saints 
were found, the venerable father, abbat Simon, approached 
the holy spot, and having celebrated the mystery of our 
redemption in the neighbouring chapel of St. James, in 
respect to the martyr St. Alban, he commanded the monks 
who were present to search with still greater diligence and 
to put on more diggers immediately. The chapel of 
St. James had been built in honour of the martyr, in con- 
sequence of certain rays of light which always fell on the 
flocks whenever the shepherds drove them to pasture on that 
spot ; wherefore, also, the aforesaid abbat celebrated mass 
there, and implored the martyr's aid to bless their search. 
When the abbat and brethren had returned to the abbey, and 
were seated at dinner, one of them read aloud the passion of 
the saint for whom they were digging and of his companions. 
by which when they were released from the flesh they entered 
into everlasting glory. Whilst, therefore, the convent in 
tears were intent on hearing the cruelty of the judge, the 
ferocity of his lictors, the patience of the martyrs, and the 
lengthened details of their death, some one suddenly entered 
the room and announced that they had just discovered the 
bodies of Amphibalus and three others. Why should I relate 
the effect of this intelligence ? their sighs were changed to 
thanksgiving, and joy succeeded to sorrow. Rising from table, 
they all proceeded to the church, and offered up praises to 
attest the joy which filled their hearts. The holy martyr 
Amphibalus was lying between two of his companions, whils 
the third was found lying crossways in a place by itself. 
They also found near the place six others of the martyrs, 
making with St. Amphibalus himself, ten in all. Among 
other reliques of this champion of Christ were found two 
large knives, one in his skull and the other in his breast, con- 
iirinin" the account which was handed down from ancient 

42 ROGEK OF WEXDOVER. [A.D. 1178. 

times in the book of his martyrdom.* For, according to that 
book, whilst the others perished by the sword, Amphibalus 
himself was first embowelled, then pierced with lances and 
knives, and finally stoned to death : for which cause, also, 
none of his bones were found entire, though in all the corpses 
of his companions not a bone was broken. 

Ifote the relict of St. Amphibalus tee-re translated to St. Alban's. 

The abbat, as we have observed, hearing the happy news, 
hastened with the prior and some of the brethren to the place, 
and caused the relics thus dug up to be taken up and wrapped 
in decent cloths. Then, apprehensive of injury from the pres- 
sure of the multitude,who could not be kept oti'from the trea- 
sure which they had found, he gave orders that the holy martyrs 
should be carried to St. Alban's church, where they could be 
better taken care of. Why need I say more? The abbat 
and brethren returned to the monastery, carrying with them 
separately the bodies of the saints. The rest of the brother- 
hood, who had remained behind, came out to meet them, 
bearing with them the body of the blessed martyr St. Alban, 
which, as his bearers can testify, though generally heavy, 
was at present so light that it seemed rather to fiy along than 
to rest upon their shoulders. Thus martyr met martyr, the 
disciple his master, receiving him publicly on his return, from 
whom formerly he had been taught the true faith in a humble 
cottage. We must not, however, pass over in silence a 
miracle which God wrought in the elements when first these 
holy relics met. For, whereas there had been a long drought, 
which had dried up everything and reduced the farmers 
almost to desphir ; at this moment, though there was not a 
cloud to be seen, so heavy a storm of rain came down, that 
the earth was drenched and the hopes of a future harvest 
were revived. St. Amphibalus and his companions were 
found on Saturday the 25th of June, A.D. 1177, being the 
886th year after his martyrdom. Wherever the holy relics 
are placed, as well as on the spot where he was buried, to the 
glory of God and of his martyr, the sick are cured of divers 
diseases, the limbs of the paralytics recover their strength, 
the mouths of the dumb are opened, sight is restored to the 
blind, the deaf hear, the lame walk, and. what is still more 

* This book ': now moat probably no longer in existence. 


marvellous, those who arc possessed with devils nre released, 
epileptics arc cured, lepers cleansed, and the dead recalled to 
life. If any one desires to read the miracles which the 
divine clemency works by means of these his saints, let hint 
peruse the famous book of his miracles, for we now beg our 
readers to pardon us for this digression and hasten on to 
other subjects.* 

How the young king Henry held tonrnament*. 

A.D. 117!). Henry the young king, crossing into Gaul, 
ppent three- years in conflicts and profuse expenditure. 
Laying aside his royal dignity, and assuming the character of 
a knight, he devoted himself to equestrian exercises and, carry- 
ing off the victory in various encounters, spread his fame on 
all sides around him. When his reputation was complete, Le 
returned to his father who received him with due honour. 
The same year Louis, the king of France, determined to pay 
a visit for prayer at the tomb of St. Thomas the martyr, and 
for that purpose came to England where neither himself nor 
any of his ancestors had ever yet been. He landed at Dover, 
and was met, on the 22nd of August, by the king of England, 
who showed both him and his attendants every possible mark 
of respect: for the archbishop of Canterbury, with his 
suffragans, earls, and barons, besides the clergy and people, 
went in solemn procession to the church, in honour of so 
great a king. No one knows how much gold and silver, 
precious stones and plate, king Henry bestowed upon the 
French nobility, and therefore no one can tell the same. The 
king of France; granted a hundred measures of wine, to be 
delivered yearly at Paris, out of respect to the glorious 
martyr, for the use of the convent of Canterbury : and king 
Henry showed the French king and his attendants all the 
wealth of his kingdom, which had been amassed by hims-lf 
and his ancestors ; but the French, careful lest they should 
seem to have had another object than to see the, blessed 
martyr, restrained their hands from receiving gifts, and in 
doing so, perhaps, endured a sort of mental martyrdom at 
what they saw. Thus the king of France, when he had 

* The whole legend of Amphibalus m a fable : there certainly was n.> such 
perton, and it may !>c doubted whether there was e\er uch a person .i 
tit. Albun; or, if he existed, his history also is mootly a table. 

44 ROGER OF WENDOVEU. [A.D. 1179. 

spent three days in watching, fasting, and prayer at Canter- 
bury, and received a few small presents from the king of 
England, as tokens of his love, sailed back to France on the 
26th of August. The same year, also, died Roger bishop of 
Winchester, on the 9th of August. 

Of the council at Rome under pope Alexander. 

The same year was held a general council at Rome, of 
three hundred and ten bishops, on the 29th of March, in the 
Lateran, at which pope Alexander the third presided. The 
statutes then passed, which are worthy of universal praise, are 
contained under twenty-eight heads, as follows : Of the elec- 
tion of the supreme pontiff: Of the heretical Albigenses, and 
their different appellations : Of the routiers and plunderers 
of Brabant, who harass the faithful : That no one shall be 
advanced to a bishopric or any other ecclesiastical grade, 
unless he is of lawful age and born in lawful wedlock : That 
no benefices be given away whilst their incumbents are living, 
nor be suffered to remain vacant more than six months after 
the incumbents are dead : Of appeals : That no one in holy 
orders, or who derives his maintenance from ecclesiastical 
revenues, shall concern himself in secular business : Of fixing 
the truces, and the times of fixing the same That clerks 
shall have only one church, and that bishops, if they ordain 
persons without a certain title, shall maintain them until 
they can appoint them to an office in some church : That 
patrons and laymen shall not oppress churches or ecclesias- 
tical persons : That Jews and Saracens shall not have Chris- 
tians for slaves, but if they choose to be converted to 
Christianity, they shall in no wise be taken from their 
masters : That leprous persons, who are excluded from 
society, shall have an oratory and priest of their own : That 
ecclesiastical property shall not be turned to any other use, 
nor deans exercise episcopal jurisdiction for a certain sum of 
money : That in elections and ecclesiastical ordinations, 
whatsoever shall be appointed by the senior part of the 
council shall take effect: That manifest usurers shall not be 
admitted to the communion at the altar, nor receive Christian 
burial: That farmers and travellers, and all which they pos- 
sess, shall enjoy general peace and security : That ordinations 
made by schismatics shall be held as null and void, and all 


benefices bestowed by them be revoked : That no payment 
be demanded for instituting ecclesiastical persons, burying the 
dead, or pronouncing the blessing at marriages, or for the 
other sacraments of the church : That no religious persons or 
others presume to receive churches or tithes from lay hands 
without the authority of the bishop ; nor the templars or ho?>- 
pitallers open their churches, which have been laid under an 
interdict, once a year, nor presume then to bury the dead : 
That no one shall for money usurp a religious habit, nor 
religions persons have property of their own, nor prelates be 
degraded except for dilapidation or for incontinence: That 
Christians shall not sell arms to Saracens, nor any one dare 
to rob those who have been shipwrecked: That clerks in 
holy orders shall live continently, and if they are found to 
labour in that sort of continence which is contrary to nature, 
they shall be excommunicated and expelled from the clergy : 
That archbishops, visiting parishes or churches, shall be con- 
tent with a retinue of forty or fifty horse ; bishops, of twenty 
or thirty ; legates, of twenty or five and twenty ; arch- 
deacons, of five or seven ; and deans, of not more than two : 
That no one shall practise tournaments, and that those who 
are killed in them shall be deprived of Christian burial: 
That every cathedral church shall have a master, who shall 
teach the poor scholars and others, and that none shall de- 
mand pay for teaching : That prelates shall govern only one 
church, and that patrons shall not exact money from the 
churches or their lands : That bishops and ecclesiastical 
persons shall not be compelled to appear at lay tribunals, and 
that laymen shall not pay tithes to laymen : That, if any one 
receives property from another as a security for a loan, and, 
after deducting expenses, he has recovered his money out of 
the produce of the property, he shall give back the security 
to his debtor. 

Pope Alexander's letter against the heresy of Petrr Lombard. 

The same pope Alexander was informed that master Peter 
Lombard had in certain of his writings departed from the 
articles of the faith; wherefore he sent the following letter 
to \\illiam archbishop of Sens. " Alexander, bis/top, srrniHt 
of the servants of Cod, to William archbishop of Sens, 
health: When you were formerly in our presence, we en- 

40' ROGER OF WENDOVEK. [A.D. 1170. 

joined you, by word of mouth, to convoke your suffragan 
bishops at Paris, and use your best endeavours to destroy the 
false doctrines of Peter, formerly bishop of Paris, by which it is 
asserted that Christ, as far as he is human, i.s not any thing. 
We therefore command you, my brother, by our apostolical 
writings, as we before commanded you by word of mouth, to 
assemble your bishops at Paris, and together with them and 
other religious and prudent men, to abrogate altogether the 
aforesaid doctrines, and to make masters teach their pupils in 
theology, that as Christ is perfect God, so also lie is perfect 
man, consisting of a body and soul. You will strictly charge 
all men by no means to presume again to teach the afore- 
said false doctrine, but altogether to abominate it." 

Of abbot t/oocAim'j book, which he rerotf I'etrr Lombard . 

In these days, also, Joachim abbat of Flore, wrote a book 
against Peter Lombard, calling him a heretic and a madman, 
for having said, in speaking of the unity or essence of the 
Trinity, that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are one 
supreme essence, which neither begets, nor is begotten, on 
proceeding. For this assertion, the abbat charged Peter 
with holding not three persons in the Godhead, but four, 
namely, the three persons usually received, and their com- 
mon essence or a sort of fourth ; that it is no tiling which 
is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, neither essence,, 
nor substance, nor nature, although he admits that the Father, 
the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are one essence, one substance , 
and one nature. And the same Joachim confirmed his posi- 
tion by the authorities which follow: " There are three 
which bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the 
Holy Ghost, and these three are one; and there am three 
which bear record on earth, the Spirit, the U'ater, and the 
Blood, and these three are one.' again, "I wish, Father, 
that they should be one in us, even as we also are one." 
Wherefore it appears that the aforesaid Joachim acknow- 
ledges not a true and proper unity of this sort, but a sort of 
collective unity, having the similitude of such, in the same 
way as many men are called one people, and many believers 
make one church. 


How pope Innocent condemned Joachim'* book. 
This controversy remained undecided for many years, from 
the days of pope Alexander to the time of pope Innocent, 
during the papacy of Lucius, Urban, Gregory, Clement, and 
Celestine: to whom succeeded Innocent the third, who, in 
the year of our Lord 1215, held a general council at Koine, 
and condemned Joachim's book against Peter in these terms : 
" We, with the consent and approbation of this council, be- 
lieve and confess with Peter that there is one supreme 
substance, incomprehensible and unspeakable, which is truly 
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, being both three 
persons collectively and also each of them separately ; and 
therefore there are three not four persons in the Deity, for 
each of those three persons is that thing, or substance, essence 
or divine nature, which alone is the beginning of all things, 
besides which no other can be found ; and that substance 
neither begets nor is begotten, nor proceeding ; but it is the 
Father who begets, the Son who is begotten, and the IIolv 
Spirit which proceeds, so that there are distinctions between 
the persons, and unity in the nature. For although the 
Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are different persons, 
they are not different in substance: the Father, by begetting 
the Son from eternity communicated to him his own sub- 
stance, according to what lie himself testifies : '" That which 
the Father hath given me is greater than all." Neither can 
it be said that he gave the Son part of his substance ami 
retained the rest for himself, since the substance of the 
Father is indivisible, and altogether simple ; neither can it 
be said that the Father transferred his substance to the Son 
by begetting him, that is, so gave it to the Son that he did 
not retain it for himself, otherwise his substance would cease 
to exist : but the Son by his birth received the entire sub- 
stance of the Father, and so the Father and Son have the 
same substance and are the same thing; as well as the Holy 
Spirit, which proceeds from both, and remains in both, for 
the faithful servants of Christ are not, as the abbat Joachim 
says, one substance common to all, but one only in unity of 
charity, in grace; but in the same of the Divine persons, 
there is unity of identity in their nature. We therefore con- 
demn and reprobate the book and doctrines <it .Joachim, and 
do command that, if any one shall presume to defend or 

48 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1180. 

approve of his opinions in this matter, he shall he held as 
heretical by all men." Concerning this council and the pope 
above mentioned, more will be said in its proper place. 

J/otc Philip W<M consecrated king of France. 

The same year, Philip son of Louis king of France, was 
crowned king on the festival of All Saints, at Rheims, by 
William archbishop of that city : his father was still living, 
and supplied all things required for the coronation. Also 
Cadwallan, prince of Wales, was this year brought into the 
presence of the king of England, where many charges were 
laid against him. On his return to Wales, under the safe 
conduct of the king, he was set upon by his enemies and 
slain, on the 22nd of September, to the great scandal of the 
king, though he was in no wise to blame ; for he commanded 
the authors of the deed to be severely punished. 

Of the league between the king of France and England. 
A.D. 1180. A conference was held between Philip the 
new king of France and king Henry, at a place between 
Gisors and Trie, where the following treaty was concluded 
between them : " I, Philip, by the grace of God king of 
France, and I, Henry, by the same grace, king of England, 
notify to all men that we have renewed on oath the alliance 
and friendship between us ; and, to avoid all occasion of dis- 
cord hereafter between us, we have agreed that neither shall 
claim, against the other, any of the lands, possessions, and 
other things which we now hold, except Auvergne, concerning 
which there is now a dispute between us, and except the fee 
of the castle of Ralph, and except the small fees and divisions 
of our lands of Berri : concerning which, if we cannot come to 
an agreement, we have each chosen three bishops and barons, 
to decide between us, by whose decision we have agreed, in 
good faith, to abide." The same year, also, died Louis king 
of France, at Paris, on the 18th of September, and was buried 
at the Cistercian abbey of Barbeaux ; the building of which 
had been completed at the expense of the same king. 

How Richard count of Foictou grievously ravaged the lands of Geoffrry 
de Lisiniac. 

About the same time, Richard duke of Aquitaine, and son 
of king Henry, provoked by the pride of Geoffrey de Rancon, 

A.B. 1180.] SIEGK OV TAII.EBCRG. 49 

and by many injuries which he had received from him, 
assembled his troops, and laid siege to Taileburg, one of his 
castles, a bold enterprise, which none of his ancestors had 
ever dared to undertake, for the castle was up to that time un- 
known to its enemies, and was defended by three moats and 
walls, besides arms of all kinds, bolts, and bars ; it was crowned 
with turrets placed at intervals, and had a large quantity of 
stones on its battlements, besides stores of provisions, and 
numbers of knights and experienced soldiers ; for which 
reason it entertained no fear from duke Richard's approach. 
He, however, invaded its territory with more than a lion's 
fury, carried oft' the produce, cut down the vines, burned the 
villages, and demolished every thing ; then fixing his tents 
near the castle, he erected machines against the walls, and 
created great alarm in the garrison, who had no suspicion 
that any such things would happen. Inasmuch, however, 
as it seemed somewhat ignominious, that such high-minded 
and experienced soldiers should be cooped up within the 
walls, they determined, by common consent, to make a sally 
and attack the duke's army by surprise. This resolution 
was bravely put in force, but the duke, summoning his men, 
charged the enemy and compelled them to retire within their 
walls. In their retreat, a fierce fight ensued, and the worth 
of both horse and men, lance and sword, bow and cross- 
bow, shield and mace, with every other kind of weapon or 
defensive armour, were all tested in that encounter. Where- 
fore the townspeople, unable any longer to endure the duke's 
assaults, retreated within their walls, and the duke, urging 
on the pursuit, entered with the fugitives : the streets wen- 
filled with rapine and conflagration, for there was no way of 
escape left for them. Some of the townspeople, favoured by 
fortune, fled to the principal tower: the lord of the castle 
was compelled to surrender, the fair walls were levelled with 
the ground, and others of the revolted castles, within a month, 
shared the same fate. When every thing was completed to 
the duke's wish, he crossed into England, where he w:u. 
received with the greatest honours by king Henry his 

* " A new coinage was made this year in England ; nnd Jolm bishop of 
Chichester died. 1 ' M. PARIS. 


50 ROGKR OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1181. 

How Philip king of France tubtnitted the ditporititm of hi* realm to the 
king of England. 

A.I>. 11 SI. Some of the French king's ministers reminded 
their master how peacefully the king of England governed his 
extensive dominions, and kept them safe from those barbarous 
nations the Scots and Welsh : wherefore, by the advice of his 
household, the French king submitted his own kingdom, also, 
and his own person to the disposition of the king of England, 
who, influenced by this example, placed the whole of 
Normandy under the control of the young king his son, and, 
on the 25th of July, crossing to England made a visit, for the 
pur{Kse of prayer, to the tomb of St. Thomas the martyr. 
The same; year, on the 20th of November, died Roger arch- 
bishop of York, who, during his life-time, had obtained a 
privilege from pope Alexander, to the effect that if any clerk 
under his jurisdiction should on his death-bed make a will 
and die without having distributed his property with his own 
hands, the archbishop should take possession of the goods of 
the deceased. Now, as every one ought to abide by the laws 
which he has laid down for others, when the archbishop 
died, all his treasures, by the just judgment of God, were 
confiscated, amounting to eleven thousand pounds of silver, 
three hundred pieces of gold, one golden cup, seven silver 
cups, nine silver goblets, three silver salts, three cups of 
myrrh, forty spoons, eight silver porringers, one silver basin, 
and a great silver dish. 

I'ope Alexander 't letter to Preiter * John king of the Indies. 

About this time jiope Alexander wrote to Prester John 
king of the Indies, as follows : " Alexander, bishop, to his 
beloved son in Christ, health and apostolical benediction. We 
had heard, long ago, by the relation of many, what diligence 
you show in the performance of pious works, since you have 
embraced the Christian religion ; but our l>eloved son, Philip 
the physician, who says that he has conversed with the great 
and honourable men of your kingdom concerning your inten- 
tions and plain, has constantly, with his usual discretion. 
signified to us that you wish to be instructed in the catholic 
and apostolic doctrine, and that it is your fervent desire, on 

* Properly Prw'jirUrr John ; Ittit, as he i tivmlly known br the n.imr of 
I'rwrtcr John, I have retained that appellation. 

A. D. 1182.] DEATH OF POl'E ALEXANDER. .51 

the part of botli your people and yourself, to hold nothing 
whicli rnay appear to differ from the doctrines of the apostolic 
see. To which must Ix; added the highest merit, as the 
aforesaid Philip says he has heard from your own people, that 
you desire to have a church in the city of Jerusalem and an 
altar, where religious and prudent men of your kingdom 
might remain and l>e more fully instructed in apostolic dis- 
cipline, by whom also you and your people might the more 
easily receive and hold their Christian doctrines. We, there, 
fore, wishing to reclaim you from those articles in which you 
deviate from the Christian faith, have sent the aforesaid 
Philip to your highness, through whom you maybe instructed 
in the articles of the Christian faith, wherein you and yours 
seem to differ from us, and so may have no cause to fear that 
anything will spring out of your error to impede the salva- 
tion of you or yours, or in any way to cast a stigma on your 
profession of Christianity." 

I loir Lucius sucrecJe<l to pope Alexander. 

The same year died pope, Alexander, after he had sat 
twenty-two years in the Roman see. He was succeeded by 
Humbald bishop of Ostia, who took the name of Lucius tin- 
third, and sat four years in the apostolic church. Also 
Philip king of France married Margaret daughter of Baldwin 
count of Hainault, by Margaret, sister of Philip count of 
Flanders. The same year, also, the old coinage was abro- 
gated, and a new coinage issued on the feast of St. Martin's. 
The same year, Baldwin abbat of Ford, a Cistercian monas- 
tery, succeeded to Roger as bishop of Winchester. 

1 fmt' (.'tevffrcy lii.\hop elect of Lincoln declined (tic election. 

A.D. 1182. Geoffrey elect of Lincoln, and son of the king 
of England, after his election had been confirmed by the. 
pope, and he had ruled that same church peaceably during 
seven years, on the day of the Epiphany at Marlhnrnugh, in 
presence of the king and the bishops, renounced his election, 
though no one; compelled him to do so. At the same time, 
Henry, in presence of the nobles of the kingdom, at Waltham, 
liberally granted two thousand marks of silver and five 
hundred marks of gold to assist the Holy Land, after which he, 
crossed into Normandy. In these days, Henry duke of 

52 ROGEU OF WENDOVER. [x.D. 118H. 

Saxony, the king's son-in-law, had been exiled by the 
emperor, and came to the king in Normandy, bringing with 
him the duchess and his two sons Henry and Otho; he was 
there supplied three years by the king's munificence with all 
things necessary in the greatest abundance. The same year, 
also, Walter de Constantiis archdeacon of Oxford, was con- 
secrated bishop of Lincoln by Richard archbishop of Canter- 
bury, at Anjou, in the church of St. Laud. Also, Walter 
bishop of Rochester died this year. 

Of the death of albat S'tmon, and (tie accession of \Varin. 

A.D. 1183. Died Simon abbat of St. Alban's, and was 
succeeded by Warin prior of the same church, and on the 
day of the nativity of the mother of God, received the 
blessing as abbat. 

Of tlic death of Henry the young king. 

About this time king Henry endeavoured to make his sons 
Geoffrey and Richard do homage to the young king his eldest 
son, for Brittany and the duchy of Aquitaine. To this wish 
Geoffrey readily acceded, and did homage for the earldom of 
Brittany ; but Richard no sooner heard his father's request 
than he was violently angry, saying it was unreasonable, 
whilst their father was alive, that they should subject them- 
selves to their elder brother, who was born of the same father 
and mother as themselves, that, as the eldest brother would 
claim the father's inheritance, so he, Richard, would justly 
claim the succession to his mother's property. King Henry 
was much displeased at this conduct, and earnestly enjoined 
the young king his son to do his utmost to check his brother's 
pride. When they had frequently met for this purpose, and 
there appeared no hopes of peace, the young king assembled 
a large army, and determined to fight his brother, but his life 
was suddenly cut off like a thread, and with him were cut off 
the hopes of many ; for in the flower of his youth, when he 
had completed his twenty-eighth year, he died in that part 
of Gascony which is called Turonia, at the castle of Martel, 
on the feast of St. Barnabas the apostle, and his body, 
wrapped in the linen garments, which he wore anointed with 
the chrism at his coronation, was carried to Rouen, where it 
was buried near the high altar in the cathedral with the 


honour due to so great a prince. The same year GiranI, 
surnamed la Pucelle, having been consecrated to the see of 
Coventry, died after he had been bishop ten weeks. Also 
Walter de Coutance bishop of Lincoln, came into England, 
and was solemnly enthroned in his see. 

A. D. 1184. Richard archbishop of Canterbury, died at 
Allingharn, a village belonging to the bishop of Rochester; 
and king Henry escorted the duke of Saxony with his family 
to England, where the duchess a few days afterwards gave 
birth to a son named William, at Winchester. The same 
year, Baldwin bishop of Worcester was elected archbishop of 
Canterbury, and Walter of Lincoln was elected to the arch- 
bishopric of Rouen. Both these prelates received the pall, 
and were solemnly enthroned in their sees. At this time 
I'hilip archbishop of Cologne, and Philip count of Flanders, 
came into England to discharge their vows to the blessed 
martyr St. Thomas. King Henry went out to meet them, 
and invited them to pay a visit to London the royal city. 
When they arrived in London, that capital presented such a 
festive appearance as had never been seen before, and all its 
streets sounded with mirth and revelry. The archbishop of 
Cologne and the count of Flanders were received in solemn 
procession at St. Paul's church, and the same day similar 
honours were paid to them ; after which they were enter- 
tained during five days in the palace at the king's expense; 
but whether they carried home many presents with them or 
not, it seems superfluous to inquire. The same year died 
Joceline bishop of Salisbury. 

Ilmo the Saracens attacked the Christians in Spain, but retreated in 

In these days, about the feast of St. John the Baptist, 
Gainius king of the Saracens in Spain, conducted the king <>!' 
kings of the Saracens named Macemunt, at the head of thirty- 
seven other kings, into the territories of the Christians. 
They first besieged St. Irenasus and after a fight of three 
days and three nights made a breach in the walls and entered 
the town: but the garrison escaped into the citadel. The 
following night the bishop of Portugal with the king's son 
came upon the Saracens and slew king Gainius, with fifteen 
thousand of his men, whose bodies they piled up in place of 

54 BOGEU OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1184. 

the walls which had been broken down. The next day, 
being the festival of St. John and St. Paul,* the archbishop 
of St. lago assembled twenty thousand men, and at dawn of 
day slew thirty thousand Saracens. On the following day, 
which was the feast of St. Margaret's, the Saracens destroyed 
at Alcubaz ten thousand women and infants ; but those who 
were in the town of Alcubaz sallied out and slew three kings? 
with all their army. Afterwards, on the eve of St. James's, 
king Macemunt heard that the king of Gallicia was come to 
fight him in single combat ; and when he wished to mount 
his horse, he fell off three times and died; upon which all his 
army fled, leaving behind them all their money. The king 
of Portugal gave some of the Saracen prisoners as slaves to 
serve the masons in rebuilding the churches, and with the 
money he made a golden shrine for St. Vincent. Afterwards 
came numerous galleys of the Saracens to Lisbon, bringing 
with them a dromund, in which there was a machine of such 
a nature that the Saracens could issue forth upon it in arms 
beyond the city walls and again return. By God's providence, 
however, some one dived into the water under the vessel, and 
bored a hole in her bottom, which caused her to sink. The 
Saracens, perceiving that they were baffled, took to flight, 
leaving behind them all their baggage. 

How Guy de Lusignan was made protector of the kingdom of Jerusalem. 

In these days reigned at Jerusalem Baldwin, son of king 
Amalric. From the very beginning of his reign he was 
afflicted with elephantiasis, which had already deprived him 
of sight, and of the use of his feet and hands. But, not- 
withstanding his weakness of body, he was strong in mind, 
and endeavoured, even beyond his strength, to discharge his 
royal duties. To this end he convoked the nobles of his 
kingdom, and in presence of his mother and the patriarch, 
he appointed Guy of Lusignan, count of Joppa and A.calon, 
to be regent of the kingdom. This Guy had married tin- 
king's sister Sibylla, formerly wife of the marquis of Mont- 
ferrat, by whom she had Baldwin ; but when he had been 
some time regent, and the kingdom of Jerusalem did not 
prosper, the king removed Guy, and appointed Raymund 
count of Tripoli in his place. 

The 2Cthof June. 


How Saladin the sultan of Uauylon, destroyed several cities nf the 

At this time, Saladin sultan of Damascus had subdued all 
the Saracenic kings throughout the east, so that he might 
truly be called king of kings and lord of lords, and now 
purposing to subdue all Christendom also, he passed the 
river Jordan at the beginning of July, and foraged for pro- 
visions the country round the castle of Crach, formerly called 
Petra in the desert. He then passed on to the town of 
Neapolis, which he plundered, and afterwards burned. At 
Sebastoea, the bishop ransomed the city and church by 
giving up to him eighty captives; and Saladin, proceeding 
into Arabia, devastated that country, and carried off both 
men and women for slaves. From thence he proceeded to 
the castle of Great Gerin, which he destroyed, and, except 
a few whom he made prisoners, he slew both men and women. 
Little Gerin, a village belonging to the temple, shared the 
same fate, after which the Saracenic army retired by way of 
Belvere, a castle belonging to the temple, slaying some of the 
people, and carrying off the others as captives. 

The king of England elected king of Jerusalem. 

Baldwin, the leprous king of Jerusalem, being at last 
dead, Baldwin, a boy of five years old, reigned in his place. 
He was nephew to the late king, by Sibylla his sister, and 
William marquis of Montferrat, and immediately after his 
coronation was placed under the tuition of Raymund count of 
Tripolis. But the clergy and people, seeing the kingdom now 
reduced to a state which could not long be maintained, began 
seriously to consider what steps were to be taken ; and, as 
they entertained suspicions that Saladin would not long 
remain inactive, and had little to hope from the tender years 
of the king, they all agreed to send ambassadors to Henry 
king of England, and offer to him the kingdom of Jerusalem, 
witli the keys of the holy city and of our lord's tomb. 
Heraclius the patriarch, at their request, undertook this 
embassy, and in company with the master of the temple and 
some others, crossed the Mediterranean sea, and arriving at 
Rome, obtained letters from pope Lucius, praying the king 
of England to grant their request. 

56 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1185. 

Heracliiis the vatriarch comes to England, and notifies to king Henry hit 

A.D. 1185. Heraclius patriarch of the holy resurrection, 
and the lord Roger master of the hospital of Jerusalem, 
came to king Henry at Reading, and delivering to him the 
pope's letter, explained the object of their journey, and the 
desolate condition of the city and whole country of Jeru- 
salem. The recital moved the king and all the assembly to 
tears ; for their petition took notice of our Lord's nativity, 
his passion, resurrection, the tower of David, the keys of the 
holy sepulchre, and the banner of the kingdom, all of which 
the king respected beyond measure. The pope's letter, 
among other subjects, contained the following : 

The letter of pope Lucius to the king of England. 
" Lucius, bishop, servant of the servants of God, fyc. 
Whereas all your predecessors have been famous, above all 
the other princes of the world, for valour in arms and 
nobility of mind, and the people of the faithful have been 
taught to look on them as patrons in their adversity, it is 
not without propriety that application is made to you, who 
inherit all your father's virtues as well as his kingdom, at a 
moment when not only danger but even imminent destruction 
hangs over the Christian people; to the end that your royal 
power may protect the members of that Christ, who has 
mercifully allowed you to reach your present height of 
glory, and made you a wall of defence against those who 
wickedly assail his name. Be it known, moreover, to your 
highness, that Saladin, the wicked persecutor of the holy 
name of the Crucified, has now prevailed to such an extent 
in his fury against the Christians of the Holy Land, that, 
unless his fierce rage is checked, he already confidently 
looks forward to the whole of Jordan flowing into his 
mouth," &c. 

King Henry refutes the kingdom of Jerusalem. 

The king of England having received this communication, 
convoked the clergy, people, and nobility of his dominions, 
on the 18th of March, at Clerkenwcll, in Ixwlon, where the 
king in the audience of the patriarch and master of the 
hospital, solemnly adjured all his faithful servants to make 
public whatever should seem to them to tend to the salvation 

A.D. 1180.] HUGH DE LACY SLAIN. 57 

of his soul in connexion with the subject before them, adding 
that he was strongly disposed in his own mind to abide by 
the advice which they should offer. The whole council 
then, considering on what they had just heard, deemed it 
more sound and salutary to the king's soul that he should 
govern his whole kingdom with proper moderation, and 
defend it from the irruption of the barbarians, than attend in 
his own person to the welfare of the people of the east ; but 
they did not deem it meet to come to any decision respecting 
the king's sons, who were absent, one of whom the patriarch 
requested might be sent to Jerusalem, if the king should 
decline to go himself. 

The same year also, John, the king's son, was made a belted 
knight by his father at Windsor, on the last day of March, 
after which he crossed into Ireland. The king and tin- 
patriarch then sailed over to Normandy, and celebrated 
Easter at Rouen. The king of France hearing of the arrival 
of the king of England, came with all speed to Vaudreuil, 
where the two kings passed three days in familiar converse, 
and many noblemen took the cross in their presence, but tin- 
kings themselves only promised that they would both send 
speedy help to the Holy Land, for they did not think it an 
easy matter to carry on so important an enterprise from the 
remote bounds of the west ; and the patriarch, disappointed 
in the object of his commission, and with baffled hopes, 
returned to his own country. 

The same year, Hugh de Lacy, lord of the province called 
Media,* was slain on the 25th of July. At the same time, 
the earl of Huntingdon having died without children, the 
king gave that earldom with its purtenances to William 
king of Scotland. Also, Gilbert de Glanville archdeacon of 
Lisieux was consecrated bishop of Rochester on the 29th of 
September,! ant ^ Henry duke of Saxony, with the emperor's 
permission, returned home and contented himself with his 
own paternal inheritance. 

Haldwin archbishop of Canterbury receives the pall and the leyatint" 

A.D. 1186. Baldwin archbishop of Canterbury received 

* Mcath, in Ireland. 

+ " The same year died pope Lucius, and, according to sonic account*, 
was succeeded by Urban." M. I'AIUS. 

58 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1180. 

the pall, with the legatine commission, in the province over 
which he presided. Also, William de Vere, on the festival 
of St. Lawrence, was consecrated bishop of Hereford. The 
same year Geoffrey count of Brittany, and son of the king 
of England, died on the 19th of August, and was buried at 
Paris, in the church of Notre Dame, in the choir of the canons. 
He left two daughters, by his wife Constance, the daughter 
of Conan formerly count of Brittany, and his wife, after his 
death, gave birth to a son, called Arthur. The same year. 
Hugh of Burgundy, and prior of the Carthusian order in 
England, was consecrated bishop of Lincoln on the feast of 
Si. Matthew ; upon which day, also, William de Norhale was 
consecrated bishop of Worcester. Pope Lucius died, and 
was succeeded by Urban, and John precentor of Exeter was 
consecrated bishop of that church. 

Pope Urban grants permission to Baldwin archbishop of Canterbury to 
build a church at Akington. 

About the same time, pope Urban wrote to Baldwin arch- 
bishop of Canterbury as follows : " We notify to you by 
these presents, that you have leave to build a church in 
honour of the blessed martyrs Stephen and Thomas, and to 
provide proper persons to be attached to it, to whom you 
shall assign benefices for their maintenance, according as 
you shall appoint : also, that of all oblations which are made 
at the relics of St. Thomas the martyr, one-fourth part shall 
be devoted to the use of the monks, one-fourth to the fabric 
of the church, one-fourth to the poor, and the remaining fourth 
to such uses as you shall think proper.* 

Sibylla is crowned queen of Jerusalem. 

About this time, Baldwin the young king of Jerusalem 
died, and there was no one to succeed him on the throne, 
except Sibylla, wife of Guy count of Joppa, sister of the 
leprous king, and mother of the boy-king, just deceased ; 

" About this time died that moat illustrious of ladies, the empress 
Matilda, daughter of king Henry the Firet, wife of Ute Roman emperor 
Henry and mother of Henry the Second, the greatest of the English 
kings. Hence that epitaph which was written on her: 

Great was her birth, her husband greater, greatest was her son, 
Here lieth Henry's daughter, wife, and mother, all in one !" 

A. D. 118(5.] SYBIL QUEEN OF JKttUSALKM. 59 

but as the truce between Saladin and the Christian* was 
just upon the point of expiring, the protection of the king- 
dom was in a critical state, which would brook no longer of 
delay. A council of the nobles was therefore held, and it 
was agreed that Sibylla, wife of Guy, as heiress of the king- 
dom, should be crowned queen, and repudiate Guy, a.s 
unequal to the government. Sibylla, rejected the sovereignty 
on these terms, until the nobles, in granting it to her, bound 
themselves by oath to obey as king the man whom she 
should choose as her husband. Guy also himself entreated 
her not to neglect the care of the kingdom on his account. 
Thus, after some delay Sibylla acquiesced in tears, and being 
solemnly crowned queen, received the homage of all the 
people, whilst Guy her husband, deprived at the same 
moment of his bride and his crown, returned to his own 
people. Meanwhile, a report was spread, and soon confirmed 
by facts, of the hostile approach of Saladin ; upon which 
the queen, convoking her ecclesiastic and temporal nobles, 
deliberated witli them about choosing a king ; and, whereas 
they had all previously allowed her to choose whomsoever she 
pleased, and now anxiously looked to the choice which she 
should make, she said to Guy, who was standing by among 
the others, " My lord Guy, I choose you for my husband, 
and give up myself and my kingdom to you as the future 
king." All were astonished at her words, and wondered 
that so simple a woman had baffled so many wise councillors. 
Her conduct was in fact worthy of great praise, both in 
point of modesty and discretion ; for she saved the crown for 
her husband, and her husband for herself. About this time, 
there happened so dreadful an earthquake, that even in 
England, where such things rarely occur, several houses 
were thrown down. Also, the mother of Saladin, on her 
way from Kgypt to Damascus with a large and splendid 
retinue, passed through the Christian territories which lie 
on the other side of Jordan, trusting to the truce ; but 
Reginald de Castiglione, assaulting the company, carried otV 
all their valuables, but Saladin's mother saved herself by 
flight. Saladin, aroused by this injury, demanded restitution 
and satisfaction, according to the terms of the treaty, and 
Reginald, when called upon to give it, returned a harsh and 
insulting reply. Upon tills, Saladin rejoiced beyond measure 

()0 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1187. 

that the Christians had first infringed the treaty, and pre- 
pared himself for war and for revenge.* 

Saladin lays waste the Holy Land. 

A. P. 1187. Saladin, inflamed with anger against the 
Christians, summoned the Parthians, Bedouins, Turks. 
Saracens, Arabs, Medes, Curds, and Egyptians, and at the 
head of these nations invaded and laid waste all the Holv 
Land. Not content with occupying some minor fortresses 
in Galilee, he prepared to besiege mount Calvary ; and 
proceeding thither with a variety of warlike engines, he, on 
his way, defeated a large body of Christians, slew the grand 
master of the temple and sixty of the brethren, and elated 
with this, success, pressed forwards to the siege. When the 
king of Jerusalem heard that the city was besieged, and the 
inhabitants hard-pressed, he summoned by proclamation all 
the strength of his kingdom, leaving none but those who 
were incapacitated for battle, by their age or sex, to garrison 
the fortresses. The rendezvous was the fountain of Sephor, 
and, when they marched thence, they amounted to twenty 
thousand warriors. Raymund count of Tripolis was ap- 
pointed their commander-in-chief ; and they set out towards 
Tiberias, and when the fatal day of battle approached, the 
king's chamberlain dreamed that an eagle flew over the 
Christian camp, bearing in his talons seven missiles, and 
crying aloud, " Woe to you of Jerusalem ! woe to you of 
Jerusalem !" In explanation of this vision, it is sufficient to 
remember the words which the Holy Spirit spake by the 
prophet, " The Lord hath bent his bow, and in it hath pre- 
pared the vessels of death." 

Saladin lakes the city of Jerusalem and the kiny'tt person. 
Saladin hearing that the king was approaching to raise the 
siege, bravely inarched to meet them, and perceiving that the 
Christians were hemmed in by the narrow and precipitous 
rocks, not far from Tiberias, at a place called Maresclmllia, he 
rushed with confidence of success upon the king's army, who 
nevertheless received them bravely as well as the nature of 
the ground would permit. The battle raged with fury, and 

* Matthew Paris adds that, " the kings of France and England took the 
cross on the 20th of January ; and that the city and cathedral of Chichestcr 
were burned on the 19th of October." 


numbers fell on both sides ; but, at length, for the sins of tin- 
Christians, the enemy prevailed ; for, as they say, the count of 
Tripolis, who commanded the army, treacherously lowered his 
banner, and caused his men to think of flying, though they had 
no way of escape, except through the enemy. King Guy was 
made prisoner, the holy cross captured, and the whole armv 
either slain with the sword or taken by the enemy, except 
the count of Tripoli who was suspected of having betraved 
them, the lord Reginald governor of Sidon, and the lord 
Kalian with a few brethren of the temple. This disastrous 
battle was fought on the 3rd arid 4th days of July, within the 
octaves of the apostles Paul and Peter. The master of tin- 
temple also, named Theodoric, escaped from this disaster, but 
with the loss of two hundred and thirty of the brethren. Tin- 
count of Tripoli having escaped without a wound was 
assumed as a proof of his having betrayed the army. 
Together with the holy cross, the bishop of Acre, and 
the precentor of our Lord's sepulchre, were overpowered by 
the enemy : the former was slain, and the latter made prisoner : 
and in this manner the holy cross, which formerly redeemed 
us from the yoke of captivity, was now made captive for our 
sins, and profaned by the hands of the infidels. 

JIow the holy city and almost all the kinr/dum teas sublned by Suladin. 

Saladin, having obtained this victory, returned to Tiberias, 
and when he had reduced the only fortress which remained, 
he sent the king and his prisoners to Damascus. Then 
entering Galilee he found no one to oppose him, and coming 
to Ptolemais took it without bloodshed. From thence Ill- 
proceeded to Jerusalem, and planted his machines on all sides 
round the walls: the citizens erected such defences as they 
were able, but their bows, cross-bows, and stone-engines 
were plied in vain: the people, in terror, flocked round the 
patriarch and the queen, who at that time governed the city, 
and entreated that terms might be entered into with Saladin 
for a surrender. A capitulation was in consequence effected, 
more worthy to be lamented than to be described ; that every 
man should pay a ransom often bezants, a woman live, and a 
child one ; but in the whole city there were fourteen thousand 
of both sexes, who, being unable to pay tliis ransom, were 
reduced to perpetual slavery. Thus thy holy city wad 

62 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1186. 

surrendered to the enemies of Christ: the sepulchre fell into 
the hands of those who persecuted Him that was buried 
therein, and those who blaspheme the Crucified are in posses- 
sion of His cross ! Saladin entered the city with the sound of 
timbrels and trumpets, and hastening to the temple removed 
the cross erected there, and all the other objects which 
Christians held in veneration. He then caused the temple to 
be sprinkled within and without with rose-water, and the 
superstitions which belong to his religion to be proclaimed in 
all its four corners ; the church of the resurrection and the 
tomb of our Lord was let to certain Syrians at a stipulated 
tribute ; after which Saladin sallied forth and reduced all the 
other cities and towns except Ascalon, Tyre, and Cracli 
boyond Jordan, otherwise called Mount Royal. 

The pope forbids the building of Akington church. 

The same year pope Urban wrote to Baldwin archbishop of 
Canterbury in these terms : " Onr dear sons, the prior and 
convent of your church, have sent us messengers bearing 
letters on the subject of the church which you have begun to 
build, stating that unless the work is discontinued, the credit 
and condition of their own church will be much impaired : 
we therefore wishing to make careful provision that no dis- 
cord may arise between you and your brethren, since you 
cannot properly attend to your sacred duties when quarrelling 
amongst yourselves, by the advice of our brethren, warn and 
strictly enjoin your brotherhood, that, until from known 
reasons we determine what ought to be done in the matter, 
you put off all occasion of appeal, and desist from building 
that church, until letters be granted from the apostolic see 
not opposing it." In the same year pope Urban dying. 
Gregory succeeded him, and he also after holding the set* 
two months, died, and Clement the third was appointed on 
the 20th of December. In this year, too, Gilbert bishop ot 
London paid the debt of nature. In the, same year Richard 
count of I'oictou, hearing of the disaster in the Holy Land 
and the capture of the cross, without waiting for any one's 
proposing it, and against the advice and will of his lather, was 
the first of the transmarine nobles who took the sign of the 
cross, which he received at the hands of the archbishop of 


How at the preaching of th*. crusade many took the cron. 

A.D. 1 188. Frederic the Roman emperor took the cross on 
the preaching of Henry bishop of Alba, a legate of the 
apostolic see, who had been sent by pope Clement, and at the 
same time Philip king of the French and Henry king of the 
P^nglish came to a conference in Normandy, betwen Trie ami 
Gisors, for the purpose of rendering assistance to the Holy 
Land, where, after long deliberations, they in the presence of 
Philip count of Flanders mutually agreed to take the .sign of 
the cross, and to hasten their journey in company to Jerusa- 
lem. Thereupon the king of the English first took the sign 
of the cross at the hands of the archbishop of Kheims and 
William of Tyre, the latter of whom had been entrusted by 
our lord the pope with the office of legate in the affairs of the 
crusade in the western part of Europe. After this the king 
of the French and Philip count of Flanders also took the 
cross ; and the example thus shown was so powerful, that 
throughout the kingdoms and dominions of the two above 
named kings, the cross was eagerly assumed by archbishops, 
bishops, dukes, marquises, counts, barons, and soldiers, as 
well as by the middle and lower classes of the people pro- 
miscuously. It was agreed between the princes that the 
French should all wear red, the English white, and the 
followers of the count of Flanders green, crosses. Concerning 
their dominions, fortresses, and all their possessions, it was 
;igreed that, until their pilgrimage was accomplished, and 
each of them had passed forty days in his own country, all 
things should remain as they were before their taking the 

//OH' the nffectwn of Richard count of I'oicton was estranged from his 

About this time, Geoffrey of Liziniac by treachery slew 
a certain friend of Richard count of Poictou ; and to 
punish such a crime the court was provoked to resort to 
arms, but remembering the sign of the cross which he wore, 
he spared those followers of Geoffrey who wen- willing to 
take the sign, others lie slew, and subdued several fortresses. 
Geoffrey, relying on the money and assistance, as w:is said, 
of the king of England, made resistance against count 
Richard, but with little success, and this circumstance 

64 KOGER OF WENDOVER. [^.D. 1188. 

estranged the count's mind from his father. After Geoffrey 
was subdued, the count having received injury at the hands 
of the count of Toulouse, invaded that noble's territory, and in 
a short time reduced seventeen of his castles. The French 
king, being offended at count Richard's having attacked the 
count of Toulouse's territories without his knowledge, se- 
cretly attacked the castle of Ralph, and compelled all whom 
he found there to make their fealty to him. This seemed to 
be a most dishonourable act on the part of so great a prince, 
especially as the king of England, when about to cross over 
to England, had entrusted the care of all his territory to the 
king of the French. Afterwards, the French king, partly by 
threats, and partly by promises, brought over to himself 
the friendship of some of the holders of castles which were 
in subjection to the king of England. Thus, at the prompting 
of the devil, disagreements arose between the two kings, who 
even after their taking the cross inflicted mutual injuries on 
each other, and at length the king of England invaded the 
French kingdom, and burned the whole country from Ver- 
neuil to Meudan. In this year, Richard bishop of Winches- 
ter died on the twenty -second of December, and was buried 
at Winchester. 

Letter of Frederic the Roman emperor to Saladin. 

In the same year, Frederic emperor of the Romans, wrote 
to Saladin concerning the Holy Land, to the following pur- 
port : * 

[ We,~\ Frederic, by the grace of God, emperor of the Romans, 
ever august, the magnificent triumpher over the enemies of 
the empire, [and the fortunate governor of the whole 
monarchy,] to the illustrious Saladin, governor of the Sara- 
cens. May he take warning from Pharaoh, and touch not 
Jerusalem ! 

[The letters which your devotion sent to us a long time 
ago, on weighty and important matters, and which would 
have benefited you if reliance could have been placed on 
your words, we received, as became the magnificence of our 
majesty, and deemed it meet to communicate by letter with 
your greatness.] But now that you have profaned the Holy 

* Tliis letters occurs more complete in Vinsauf than in Wendover. 
The passages in brackets have been introduced from Vincsauf. 


Land, over which we, by the authority of the Eternal King, 
bear rule, as guardian of Judae, Samaria, and Palestine, 
solicitude for our imperial office admonishes us to proceed 
with due rigour against such presumptuous and criminal 
audacity. Wherefore, unless, before all things, you restore 
the land which you have seized, and give due satisfaction, to 
be adjudged according to the holy constitutions, for such ne- 
farious excesses, that we may not appear to wage unlawful 
war against you, we give you from the first of November, a 
period of twelve months, after which you shall try the 
fortune of war, in the field of Zoan,* by the virtue of the 
vivifying cross, and in the name of the true Joseph. For 
we can scarcely believe that you are ignorant of that which 
all antiquity and the writings of the ancients testify. Do 
you pretend not to know that both the JEthiopias, Mauritania, 
Persia, Scythia, Parthia, where our general Marcus Crassus 
met with a premature death, Judea, Samaria, Arabia, 
Maritima, and Chaldasa, Egypt, where, [shame to say ! a 
Roman citizen, Antony, a man endowed with signal virtues, 
passing the bounds of temperance, and acting otherwise than 
as became a soldier sent from so great a state, submitted 
to the unchaste love of Cleopatra ; do you pretend not to 
know that] Armenia, and other innumerable countries, 
are subject to our sway ? This is well known to those 
kings in whose blood the Roman sword has been so often 
steeped ; and you, God willing, shall learn by experience 
the might of our victorious eagles, and be made acquainted 
with our troops of many nations the anger of Germany 
the untamed head of the Rhine the youth from the banks 
of the Danube, who know not how to flee the towering 
Bavarian the cunning Suabian the cautious Franconian 
Saxony, that sports with the sword Thuringia Westphalia 
the active Brabantine the Lorrainer, unused to peace 
the fiery Burgumlian the nimble mountaineer of the Alps 
the Frison with his javelin and thong the Bohemian ever 
ready to brave death Polonia, fiercer than her own fierce 
beasts Austria Styria Ruwennia Istria Rocumphia 
Illyria Lombardy Tuscany the inarch of Ancona the 
resolute Venetian and the Pisan sailor and lastly, also, you 

* The allusion is to Psalm Ixxviii. 12. The emperor seems to mean 
that he will attack Saladin in Egypt. 

66 UOGER OF WENDOVEH. [A.D. 1188. 

shall assuredly be taught how our own right hand, which you 
suppose to be enfeebled by old age, can still wield the sword 
upon that day of reverence and gladness which has been 
appointed for the triumph of Christ's cause. 

Saladin's answer to the emperor Frederic. 

To the great king, his sincere friend, the illustrious Frederic, 
king of Germany : In the name of God the merciful : 
by the. grace, of the one God, the powerful, the surpassing, 
the victorious, the everlasting, of whose kingdom there is 
no end. 

We give continual thanks to Him, whose grace is over all 
the world : we pray that he may pour out his inspiration 
over all his prophets, and especially on our teacher, his mes- 
senger, the prophet Mahomet, whom he sent to teach the true 
law, which he will make to appear above all laws. But we 
make it known to the sincere and powerful king, our great, 
amicable friend, the king of Germany, that a certain man, 
named Henry, came to us, professing to be your envoy, and 
he gave us a letter, which he said was from your hand. We 
caused the letter to be read, and we heard him speak byword 
of mouth, and to the words which lie spake by word of 
mouth we answered also in words. But this is the answer 
to your letter : You enumerate those who are leagued with 
you to come against us, and you name them and say tin- 
king of this land and the king of that land this count and 
that count, and such archbishops, marquises, and knights. 
But if we wished to enumerate those who are in our service, 
and who listen to our commands, and obey our words, and 
would fight for us, this is a list which could not be reduced 
to writing. If you reckon up the names of the Christians, 
the Saracens are more numerous, and many times more 
numerous than the Christians. If tin- sea lies between us 
and those whom you name Christians, there is no sea to 
separate the Saracens, who cannot be numbered ; between us 
and those who will come to aid us, there 1 is no impediment. 
With us are the Bedouins, who would be quite sufficient singlv 
to oppose our enemies; and the Turkomans, who, unaided, 
could destroy them : even our peasants, if we were to bid 
them, would fight bravely against the nations which should 
come to invade our country, and would despoil them of tlieir 


riches and exterminate them. What ! havo we not on our 
side the warlike Soldarii, by whom we have opened and 
gained the land, ami driven out our enemies ?, and 
all the kings of Paganism will not be slow when we shall 
summon them, nor delay when we shall call them. And 
whenever your armies shall be assembled, aecording to the 
import of your letter, and you shall lead them, as your 
messenger tells us, we will then meet you in the power of 
God. Nor will we be satisfied with the land which is on the 
sea-coast, but we will cross over with God's good pleasure, 
and will take from you all your lands, in the strength of the 
Lord. For if you come, you will come with all your force.", 
and will be present with all your people, and we know that there 
will remain none at home to defend themselves or tight for 
their country. And when the Lord, by his power, shall 
have given us victory over you, nothing will remain for u> 
to do but freely to take your lands, by His power, arid with 
His good pleasure. For the union of the Christian faith 
has twice come against us in Babylon ; once at Damietta, and 
again at Alexandria: [it was also in the coast of the land of 
Jerusalem in the hand of the Christians, in the land of 
Damascus, and in the land of the Saracens; in each fortress 
there was a lord who studied his own interests.] You know 
how the Christians each time returned, and to what an issue 
they came. But these our people are assembled together 
with their countries, and the Lord has associated with us 
countries in abundance, and united them far and wide under 
our power. Babylon, with its dependencies, and the land of 
Damascus, and Jerusalem on the sea-coast, and the land of 
Gesireh with its castles, and the land of Roasia with its 
dependencies, and the land of India with its dependencies 
by the grace of God, all this is in our hands, and the residue 
of the Saracenic kings is in our empire. For if we were to 
command the illustrious kings of the Saracens, they would 
not withdraw themselves from us. And if we wen? to ad- 
monish the caliph of Bagdad (whom (iod preserve) to come 
to our aid, he would rise from the throne of his great empire, 
and would come to help our excellence. We have obtained, 
also, by the virtue and power of God, Jerusalem and its 
territory; and of the three cities which still remain in the 
hands of the Christians, Tyre, Tripoli, and Aiitioch, nothing 

68 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A. D. 1188. 

remains but that we should occupy them also. But, if you 
wish for war, and if God so will of his good pleasure that we 
occupy the whole land of the Christians, we will meet you in 
the power of the Lord, as is written in this our letter. But, 
if you ask us for the boon of peace, you will command the 
warders of the three places above mentioned to deliver them 
up to us without resistance ; and we will restore to you the 
holy cross, and will liberate all the Christian captives who 
are in all our territories ; and we will be at peace with you, 
and will allow you to have one priest at the sepulchre, and 
wo will restore the abbeys which used to be in the time of 
paganism,* and will do good to them, and will permit the 
pilgrims to come during all our life, and we will be at peace 
with you. But if the letter which came to us by the hand 
of Henry be the letter of the king, we have written this letter 
for answer, and may God give us counsel according to his 
will. This letter is written in the year of the coming of 
our prophet Mahomet, 584, by the grace of the only God. 
[And may God save our prophet Mahomet and his race, and 
may he save the salvation of our Saviour, illustrious Lord, 
and victorious King ; the giver of unity ; the true word ; 
the adorner of the standard of truth ; the corrector of tin- 
world and of the law ; soldan of the Saracens and pagans ; 
the servitor of the two holy houses, and of the holy house of 
Jerusalem ; the father of victors ; Joseph the son of Job ; 
the reviver of the progeny of Murmursenus !] 

How Guy king of Jerusalem teas released from prison. 

In the same year, Guy king of Jerusalem, after being 
kept prisoner for a year, was released from prison by 
Saladin, on condition of his abdicating his sovereignty, and 
going immediately into exile beyond sea ; but the clergy of 
the kingdom were of opinion that this agreement ought 
to be nullified, and that faith was not to be kept in a case 
where religion was endangered, as long as the land of promise 
was destitute of all security in having no head or ruler, and 
pilgrims who might arrive had no leader, and the people 
had no protector. Therefore, on the release of the king, 

This letter has evidently been translated out of the original Saracenic 
with reference to Christian notions: u Saracen would hardly have described 
iiia own faith by the word " paganism." 


many pilgrims, lately arrived, flocked to him together with 
the people of the country, and formed a large army ; these 
wished to enter Tyre, but the marquis refused to admit 
them, although the city had been entrusted to him on 
condition that it should, on the request of the king and 
the heirs to the kingdom, be restored to them ; however, on 
the death of the marquis a few days afterwards, this trouble 
ceased. At the same time, also, died Raymund count of 
Tripoli, to whom was imputed the whole of the disaster 
at the land of promise, for which, as is said, he did not 
receive the last rites of Christianity at the hour of death. 
After these occurrences the king, with his army, consisting 
of the barons of the kingdom, who still adhered to him, 
in conjunction with the templars and hospitallers, the 
Venetians who had lately arrived, and pilgrims from Genoa, 
took his route towards the city of Ptolemais, otherwise called 
Acre; the whole force of his armed troops exceeding nine 
thousand men. The king of Jerusalem on arriving near the 
city, ordered all his followers to ascend a mountain in the 
neighbourhood, which from its rotundity and tower-like form 
at the top, was commonly called Turon ; this mountain rises 
loftily on the east side of the city, and extending in 
a circuit spreads itself over the plain. On the third 
day after their arrival, the Christians laid siege to the 
city, which never afterwards was relaxed until the time 
when it was taken by Philip king of France, and Richard 
king of England. The common soldiers were inspired with 
such zeal that they did not wait for the kings, but flocked 
together from all parts to serve in the Lord's army. 

How Saladin retired from Acre in confusion. 

The king of Jerusalem, surrounded by his vast multitude 
of pilgrims, ordered all his troops to descend from Turon, and 
with them pitched his camp before the city. After a few 
days, however, Saladin came against them, and with a strong 
force made a fierce attack on the Christians, as if he thought 
to conquer them in one onset; but the army of the faithful 
being in one close mass, as if fighting for their souls, bravely 
opposed them, and Saladin, in giving orders to surround them, 
judged it impossible for a single one of them to escape : but 
it was otherwise decreed by Him, who puts to confusion the 

70 ROGER OF WENDOVEK. [A.D. 1189. 

plans of the wicked ; for after enduring for three days the 
attacks of the infidels, who harassed them on all .sides, when 
they had begun to fail from being weakened by the enemy's 
attacks, they beheld a fleet with twelve thousand Dunes 
and Frisians under full sail entering the harbour, which 
by God's assistance they had reached after a prosperous 
voyage. Saladin, being alarmed at this sight and other like 
events, retired in confusion to the lower parts of his country. 

Of the great hindrance to the cause of (he Holy Land. 

At this time there was a great drawback to the cause of 
the Holy Land in the differences which had lately, even since 
their taking the sign of the cross, arisen between the king of 
the French and Richard count of Poictou on the one part, 
and Henry king of the English on the other; so great indeed 
was their quarrel, that they took castles from one another, 
and committed many excesses by slaughter and rapine ; at 
length for the sake of peace they came to a conference in 
Normandy, but the devil sowed tares amongst the wheat, so 
that they separated still at enmity. 

How John, cardinal of Anagnia, endeavoured to make peace between the 
kings Philip and Henry. 

A.D. 1189. King Henry, whilst staying in the country 
beyond sea, was grievously harassed by the annoyances which 
Philip king of the French, and Kit-hard his son count of 
Poictou, caused him ; at Christmas he was at Sautnur in 
Anjou, keeping that festival there, although several of his 
counts and barons had left him and gone over to the side of 
Richard his son. After the feast of St. Hilary, the treaties 
which had existed between the two kings, were broken off. 
and the French king Philip, and count Richard, entered the 
territories of the king of England and ravaged them; tin- 
Bretons, too, left him and went over to count Richard; but 
pope Clement, 'wondering that peace had not as yet been 
made between the kings, sent John cardinal of Anagnia. 
with full power to settle the disputes between them. 
This prelate endeavoured to bring them to terms of amity at 
'one time by reproaches, at another by mild arguments, till at 
length the kings gave security, and swore to abide by the 
arbitration of the archbishops of Bourges, Rouen, and Can- 


terbury ; so that if either of them should fail in his compact 
so as to render the peace between them less firm, or to delay 
the expedition to Jerusalem, against that one should the sen- 
tence of excommunication be promulgated by authority of 
our lord the pope, as against a subverter of our Lord's cross 
and of the whole Christian religion ; and immediately the 
cardinal took the opinion of all, priests as well as laymen, to 
determine who it was that caused the breach between the 
kings, saving the persons of the said kings. 

Letter of the marquis's son concerning the oppression of the Ifofy Land. 

" Conrad, son of the marquis of Mont-Ferrat, to Baldwin 
archbishop of Canterbury, greeting. The elements are dis- 
turbed, and it is derogatory to the catholic faith that the see 
of Jerusalem should be separated from the apostolic see. 
Jerusalem has become extinct, and the inactivity of the 
Christians is most contemptibly spoken of by the Saracens ; 
they are polluting our Lord's sepulchre, they are destroying 
Calvary, they despise the birth-place of Christ, and are 
utterly destroying the sepulchre of the blessed virgin Mary ; 
the see of Constantinople shows no reverence for that of 
Home. Antioch, too, is known to be in its last extremity. 
All these things are known to have happened through the 
idleness of the Christians. But the holy city of Jerusalem 
is much to be wept for and lamented, since it is deprived of 
its worshippers, and where once Christ spent daily and 
nightly hours in prayer, there the name of Mahomet is now 
worshipped aloud. To your highness, therefore, I put forth 
my prayers mingled with tears, that you will deign to com- 
miserate the sufferings of the Holy Land, that you will 
comfort kings, and admonish those of the true faith, that by 
expelling these dogs from the patrimony of Jesus Christ, 
they may out of charity assist to free it from bondage, and 
so deliver from the dominion of the infidels the land which 
lias been trodden by the holy feet of our Saviour. In ad- 
dition to this mass of iniquity and desolation of Christianity, 
A friendship is cherished between Suladin and the emperor 
of Constantinople, to whom the said Suladin has delivered 
all the churches of the land of promise that sue red rites may 
be performed in them by his followers after tin- (!nvk cus- 
tom. Moreover Saladin also by consent of that emperor sent 

72 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1189. 

his idol to Constantinople to be publicly worshipped there, 
but by the grace of God it was captured at sea by the 
Genoese, and brought, with the ship which carried it, to 
Tyre. Lately, too, an army was supplied by the emperor 
before Antioch, and he promised Saladin a hundred galleys ; 
and Saladin has given him the whole land of promise, if he 
will prevent the march of the French to the assistance of the 
Holy Land ; every one at Constantinople who would take the 
cross, is immediately taken and thrown into prison. But we 
have this one consolation, that the brother of Saladin, and 
also his son, were lately taken prisoners before Autioch, and 
are handed over to safe custody. Farewell." 

Of the causes which led Richard to rebel against his father. 

The same year, after Easter, a conference was held 
between the kings at Ferte"-Bernard, and at last they met in 
Whitsun-week and the French king demanded that his 
daughter Alice, whom Henry had under his charge, should 
be given in marriage to count Richard, together with a 
guarantee of the crown of England after his own death ; also 
that his son John should embrace the crusade, for Richard 
would not go without him : but the king of England would 
not give his consent to these proposals, and the two kings 
parted in anger. In this conference the cardinal aforesaid 
positively threatened, if the king of France and count Richard 
would not make peace with the king of England, to lay 
their dominions under an interdict. The king of France 
replied that he had no fear of so unjust a sentence ; that it was 
not in the power of the church of Rome to pass judgment on 
the king or kingdom of France, for taking arms to punish 
rebelh'ous subjects; that the cardinal had smelt the king of 
England's pounds sterling, and that he suspected his judg- 
ment had been perverted thereby. On the other hand, the 
archbishops and the nobles advised the king of England to 
agree to his son's demands, saying that it was right to give 
so noble a son and brave knight some security of obtaining 
the kingdom after his father's deatli : but the king refused to 
do BO in the existing state of tilings, lest he should be said to 
have done so by constraint and not of his own free will. 
Count Richard, having heard this reply, did homage to the 
French king, before them all, for the whole territory of his 


father which belonged to the crown of France, saving the 
tenure to his father as long as he lived, and saving the 
allegiance due to his father. Thus the conference ended, and 
the kings and all the people separated. 

How the king of France took four castles from the king of England, and 
drove away the king himself frum the city of Mans. 

The French king, departing from the conference in com- 
pany with count Richard, took Ferte-Bernard, Montfort, and 
Baalverque, fortresses belonging to the king of England, and 
after taking them, remained there four days. Thence pro- 
ceeding to Maine, and pretending to go to Tours, on the fol- 
lowing Monday, whilst the king of England and his men 
thought themselves in safety there, he disposed his forces to 
make an attack on the city of Mans ; and Stephen de 
Turnham, the king of England's seneschal of Anjou, set fire 
to the suburbs, but the flames passing the walls, reduced 
almost all the city to ashes. The French upon this pro- 
ceeded to a stone bridge, where Geoffrey de Biurlun and 
many others with him from the king of England met them, 
and endeavoured to break down the bridge : a severe conflict 
took place, and many fell on both sides. Geoffrey, after 
having received a wound in the neck, was taken with many 
others : the rest essaying to escape into the city, the French 
entered with them, and the king of England, despairing of 
resistance, fled with seven hundred horsemen. The French 
king and count Richard pursued him for three miles, and if 
the stream, which they forded, had not been wide and deep, 
all the knights of the king of England's household would have 
been taken prisoners. Many Welshmen fell in that battle. 
The king of England, at the head of a small party, took 
refuge in the castle of Tours, and the rest of his men in the 
tower of Mans. The king of France immediately besieged 
the tower, and partly by his engines and partly by his miners, 
reduced the garrison, consisting of thirty knights, and sixty 
men-at-arms, to surrender. Marching thence he reduced 
Mont-Double, Trou, de Rocher, Montoire, Carciere, Chateau- 
du-Loir, Chaumont, Amboise, Roche-corbon, and Beaumont. 

The city of Seville is captured. 
The same year many ships passing through the British 

74 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1189. 

seas, entered into an agreement with the pilgrims of England, 
and, by common consent, leaving Dartmouth on the 18th of 
May thirty-seven vessels, deeply laden, put to sea, and after 
various adventures arrived at Lisbon. The king of Portugal, 
seeing that they carried arms and soldiers well equipped for 
battle, entreated them to assist him in reducing the city of 
Seville, promising to lend them thirty-seven galleys and many 
other ships: he also entered into a treaty with them on oath 
that they should keep all the gold, silver, and other spoil, 
which they should find in the city, when they had taken it, 
and give up to him only the city itself. They therefore left 
Lisbon with a favourable wind, and soon reached the port of 
Seville, where they brought their ships to land, pitched their 
camp, and laid siege straightway to the city. The number of 
their men fit for battle was three thousand five hundred. On 
the third day they made a fierce assault on the walls and forced 
their way into the suburbs, where there was a fountain 
surrounded by a double wall, and having a barbican defended 
by nine towers, from which the inhabitants of the city got 
water. This fountain they filled with dung and stones. The 
gentiles were now alarmed at being cut off from their supply 
of water ; and Alchad the prince of the city, going to lin- 
king of Portugal, surrendered the city to him without the 
knowledge of the Christians. Thus the crusaders took tin- 
city in this wonderful manner, and found in it sixty thousand 
people, all of whom, except only thirteen thousand of both sexes, 
were put to the sword. By the mercy of God, this victory 
was obtained without loss to the Christians, and when the 
city had been cleansed from its impurities, the king of 
Portugal dedicated the great mosque to the honour of the 
mother of God, and made bishop of it one of the pilgrims who 
had come thither from Flanders. 

How king Henry teas compelled to make peace tcit/t Richard his ton. 

The same year, on the day after the feast of St. Peter and 
St. Paul, Philip count of Flanders, William archbishop of 
Rheims, and Hugh duke of Burgundy, came to Saimiur for 
the purpose of making peace between the French king and 
count Richard of Poictou. Now court Richard had joined the 
Bretons to the men of Poictou, and they had obtained letters 
patent from the king of France, to the effect that he would 

A.D. 1189.] 1'EACE BETWEEN HENRY AND RlCllAlil). ~~> 

n-jver make peace with king Henry without comprehending 
them also in the treaty. Meanwhile the king of France and 
Richard eount of I'oictou laid siege to Tours, and on the next 
Monday after the festival aforesaid, they applied their scaling 
ladders to the walls on the side of the Loire, which contained 
very little water, and took the city, with its garrison of sixty- 
nine knights and a hundred men-at-arms. Then the king of 
England was compelled to make a discreditable peace, on tin 
following terms: "The king of England places himself 
wholly under the counsel of the king of France, so that what- 
soever the latter shall think proper to be done, the king of 
England will fulfil without gainsaying." The king of 
England then did homage to the king of France as he had 
formerly done in the beginning of the war. It was also pro- 
vided that Alice the French king's sister should be given into 
the charge of count Richard until his return from tin- 
pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and that she should then 
become his wife. It was also provided that count Richard 
should receive the homage of all his father's subjects on both 
sides of the sea, and that none of the barons or knights, who 
in this war had adhered to eount Richard, should return to 
England, except in the last month before the departure of the 
kings towards the Holy Land, the term of which will be in 
the middle of Lent. Moreover that he should pay the king 
of France twenty thousand marks of silver for his services in 
assisting count Richard ; and that the king of France and 
count Richard should hold the cities of Mans and Tours, 
with Chateau du Loir and Trou, until all the aforesaid condi- 
tions should be fulfilled. By this transaction the prophecy of 
Merlin seems to have been fulfilled that a bit fabricated in 
the coasts of Armorica should be put into his jaws: for a bit 
was now put into the jaws of the king of England, by reason 
that the dominions, which his predecessors had acquired in 
Auvergne, had become the property of another, for he now 
was obliged to give up to his son Richard, whether he would 
or no, those who had deserted from him, namely CleoHVy dr 
Meduan. Guy du Val, Ralph de Fuleher, all residing wi'thin 
the coasts of Armorica, i. <: Brittany, through which is 11 
peaceable passage between Britain and France, without 
trespassing on the coasts of Normandy. 

76 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1189. 

Of the Roman emperor's departure on pilgrimage. 

About this time, on the feast of St. George, Frederic the 
Roman emperor set out on pilgrimage from Remesburg, 
intending to march through Hungary and Bulgaria. 

Of the death of king Henry. 

King Henry returned to Chinon from the conference much 
dejected, and cursed the day on which he was born : three 
days after, he was no more. He died on the octaves of the 
apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, after a reign of thirty-four 
years, seven months, and five days. On the morrow, as they 
were carrying him to be buried, arrayed in his royal robes, 
his crown, gloves, shoes, ring, sceptre, and sword, he lay with 
his face uncovered ; and when Richard, hearing the news of 
his death, came to meet the convoy, blood flowed from the 
nostrils of the deceased, as if he was indignant at the presence 
of one who was believed to have caused his death. Count 
Richard, seeing this, shed tears bitterly, and followed his 
father's corpse in much tribulation to Font-Evraud, where 
he unused it to be buried with honours by the archbishops of 
Tours and Treves. And whereas the deceased monarch had 
often said that the whole world ought not to suffice for the 
ambition of one king, there was an inscription put upon his 
tomb of the following import : 

" Here lies King Henry, I, who many realms 
Did erst subdue, and was both count and king. 
Though all the regions of the earth could not 
Suffice me once, eight feet of ground are now 
Sufficient for me. Header, think of death, 
And look on me as what all men must come to." 

I would also add in this place the laws which king Henry 
made for the good of his kingdom, if I did not fear to weary 
the patience of my readers. About the same time died 
Matilda, Henry's daughter and wife of Henry duke of 

Hoic earl Richard obtained the duchy of .\ormandy. 

When king Henry therefore was dead, his son Richard 
immediately laid hands on Stephen de Turn ham,* the senes- 
chal of Anjou, and committing him to custody required him 
* More properly of Tours. 


to deliver up the castles and treasures which were in 
belonging to his father. lie next honourably retained with 
him all those who had served his father and on whose fidelity 
he could reckon, and recompensed each according to his de- 
serts for the long services which he had rendered to his 
father. Moreover, when John his brother came to see him, 
he received him with due honour. He then proceeded to 
Rouen in Normandy, and on the 13th before the kalends of 
August,* in presence of the bishops, earls, barons and knights, 
he took the sword of the duchy of Normandy, by the minis- 
try of the archbishop, from the altar of the blessed virgin 
Mary : and having received the allegiance both of the clergy 
and the people, he abundantly confirmed to his brother John 
all the lands which his father had given him in England, 
namely, an estate of -1000 marks, and the whole county of 
Mortaigne. He also granted to his brother Geoffrey, for- 
merly bishop elect of Lincoln, the archbishopric of York ; and 
Geoffrey, immediately sending his clerks with the duke's 
letters, took the archbishopric into his own hands, having 
expelled the guards of the king and of Hubert Walter, dean 
of that same church, who had also been elected bishop by some 
of the canons. On the third day of his reign the duke had 
an interview with the French king between Chaumont and 
Trie, wherein the king of the French demanded the castle of 
Gisors and all the neighbouring province ; but because the 
duke was about to take the king's sister Alice in marriage, 
he forbode to press his demand for a time, and the duke on 
his part promised to pay 4000 marks more than the sum 
which his father had promised. 

How king Richard released his mother from her long confinement. 

Meanwhile his mother queen Eleanor, who for sixteen 
years had been removed from his father's bed, and kept in 
close confinement, received her son's permission to manage 
matters in the kingdom according to her own pleasure, and 
the nobles were instructed to obey her in every respect. 
The queen, with these powers, released all those who were 
in prison throughout all England, knowing from her own 
experience how painful to mankind is imprisonment. In 
these days was fulfilled the prophecy of Merlin, which says, 
Julv -JO. 

78 ROGER OK WENDOVEU. [A. D. 1189- 

' The eagle of the broken treaty shall rejoice in her third 
nestling." The queen is meant by the eagle, because she 
stretches out her two wings over two kingdoms, France and 
England. She was separated from the king of the French 
by divorce on account of consanguinity, and from the king of 
the English by suspicion and imprisonment ; and so she was 
on both sides the eagle of a broken treaty. The next part 
of the sentence, " shall rejoice in her third nestling," may be 
understood in this way : The queen's first-born son, named 
William, died when he was a boy ; Henry her second 
son, was raised to the rank of king, and paid the debt of 
nature, after he had engaged in hostilities with his father ; 
and Kit-hard his third son, who is denoted by the " third 
nestling," was a source of joy to his mother, and released her, 
as I have said, from the misery of confinement. 

Kinff Richard comes to England to be crowned. 

When all these things were arranged, duke Richard, ad- 
ministering due justice to all his subjects, arrived at Barbe- 
flcuve, where he took ships and landed at Portsmouth on the 
ides of August [Aug. 13]. Ilis arrival was soon blazoned 
through England, and caused much joy to both clergy and 
people ; for although some grieved for the death of his father, 
yet they took consolation from those words of the poet : 

" Wonders I sin<j : the sun withdrew his light, 
And yet no darkness followed.'" 

Immediately therefore after his arrival, the duke proceeded 
to Winchester, where he caused all his father's treasures to 
be weighed and an inventory of them to be made ; there 
were found to be nine hundred thousand pounds in gold and 
silver, besides precious stones. From thence he proceeded to 
Salisbury, and thence from one place to another granting to all 
the objects of their petitions, and bestowing lands on many 
who before had none. Moreover he gave to his brother 
John the daughter of Robert earl of Gloucester, together with 
that earldom and the castles of Marlborough, Lutegareshale, 
Bolsover, Nottingham, and Lancaster, with the honours 
belonging to it, and the honour of \\ illiain Peverel. All 
these possessions he confirmed to his brother John, who 
afterwards espoused the aforesaid earl's daughter, contrary 
to the prohibition of Baldwin archbishop of Canterbury. 


because their parents were in the third degree of consan- 
guinity. About the same time certain of the canons of 
York elected Geoffrey the duke's brother, and, having sung 
a hymn, solemnly confirmed the election by affixing their 
seals ; but master Bartholomew, the official of Hubert YV alter 
dean of that church, unwilling that this should take place in 
the absence of the bishop of Durham and of Hubert Walter 
the dean, both of whom had a right to be present at the 
election, appealed to our lord the pope against it. 

Geoffrey of Ely dies intestate. 

At the same time, Geoffrey bishop of Ely died intestate on 
the 1 2th before the kalends of September ( Aug. 21.); wherefore 
out of what he left behind him, three thousand marks of silver 
and two thousand marks of gold were confiscated to the king ; 
and the quantity of his furniture and stuff in rings, gold and 
silver plate, corn, rich garments, and other things, was im- 

Of the coronation of king Jtichard the first. 

Duke Ixichard, when all the preparations for his coronation 
were complete, came to London, where were assembled the 
archbishops of Canterbury, Rouen, and Troves, by whom he 
had been absolved for having carried arms against his father 
after he had taken the cross. The archbishop of Dublin was 
also there, with all the bishops, earls, barons, and nobles of 
the kingdom. When all were assembled, he received the 
crown of the kingdom in the order following: First came 
the archbishops, bishops, abbats, and clerks, wearing tin-h- 
eaps, preceded by the cross, the holy water, and the censers, 
as far as the door of the inner chamber, where they received 
the duke, and conducted him to the church of Westminster, 
as far as the high altar, in a solemn procession. In the 
midst of the bishops and clerks went four barons earrving 
candlesticks with wax candles, after whom came two earls, 
the first of whom carried the royal sceptre, having on its top 
a golden cross; the other carried the royal sceptre, having :i 
dove on its top. Next to these came two earls with a third 
between them, carrying three swords with golden sheaths, 
taken out of the king's treasury. Behind these came six 
earls and barons carrying a chequer, over which were 

80 BOGER OP WENDOVER. [A.D. 1189. 

placed the royal arms and robes, whilst another earl followed 
them carrying aloft a golden crown. Last of all came duke 
Richard, having a bishop on the right hand, and a bishop on 
the left, and over them was held a silk awning. Proceeding 
to the altar, as we have said, the holy gospels were placed 
before him together with the relics of some of the saints, and 
he swore, in presence of the clergy and people that he 
would observe peace, honour, and reverence, all his life, 
towards God, the holy church and its ordinances : he swore 
also that he would exercise true justice towards the people 
committed to his charge, and abrogating all bad laws and un- 
just customs, if any such might be found in his dominions, 
would steadily observe those wliich were good. After this 
they stripped him of all his clothes except his breeches and 
shirt, which had been ripped apart over his shoulders to 
receive the unction. He was then shod with sandals inter- 
woven with gold thread, and Baldwin archbishop of Canter- 
bury anointed him king in three places, namely, on his head, 
his shoulders, and his right arm, using prayers composed for 
the occasion : then a consecrated linen cloth was placed on 
his head, over which was put a hat, and when they had 
again clothed him in his royal robes with the tunic and gown, 
the archbishop gave into his hand a sword wherewith to 
crush all the enemies of the church : this done, two earls 
placed his shoes upon his feet, and when he had received the 
mantle, he was adjured by the archbishop, in the name of 
God, not to presume to accept these honours unless his mind 
was steadily purposed to observe the oaths which he had made : 
and he answered that, with God's assistance, he would faith- 
fully observe every thing which he had promised. Then the 
king taking the crown from the altar gave it to the arch- 
bishop, who placed it upon the king's head, with the sceptre 
in his right hand and the royal wand in his left ; and so, with 
his crown on, he was led away by the bishops and barons, 
preceded by the candles, the cross, and the three swords afore- 
said. When they came to the offertory of the mass, the two 
bishops aforesaid led him forwards and again led him back. 
At length, when the mass was chanted, and every thing 
finished in the proper manner, the two bishops aforesaid li-d 
him away with his crown on, and bearing in his right hand 
the sceptre, in his left the royal wand, and so they returned 


in procession into the choir, where the king put off his royal 
robes, and taking others of less weight, and a lighter crown 
also, he proceeded to the dinner-table, at which the arch- 
bishops, bishops, earls, and barons, with the clergy and 
people, were placed, each according to his rank and dignity, 
and feasted splendidly, so that the wine flowed along the 
pavement and walls of the palace. All this took place on 
Sunday the third before the nones of September.* 

Of the persecution of the Jews. 

Many Jews were present at this coronation, contrary to the 
king's command ; for he had caused proclamation to be made 
the day before, that no Jews or women should attend, on ac- 
count of the magical incantations which take place sometimes 
at royal coronations. But the courtiers laid hands on them, 
although they came in secret, and when they had robbed and 
scourged them dreadfully, they east them out of the church ; 
some of them died, and others could hardly be said to have 
life left in them. The populace of the city hearing of this 
attack of the courtiers on the Jews, made a similar assault 
on those who remained in the city, and, after they had put 
to death numbers of both sexes, and rased to the ground or 
burned their houses, they plundered their gold and silver, their 
writings and valuable garments. Those of the Jews who 
escaped being put to death, took refuge in the tower of 
London, and afterwards, by taking up their residence se- 
cretly here and there among their friends, they caused others 
to become rich by their own losses. This persecution began 
in the year of their jubilee, which they call the year of 
remission, and it hardly ceased before the end of the year, so 
that what ought to have been to them a year of remission, 
was turned into a jubilee of confusion. On the morrow, 
when the king heard of the wrong that had been done them, 
he chose to consider it as a wrong done to himself; wherefore, 
he caused three of them to be apprehended, tried by the 
judges of his court, and hanged one of them because he had 
stolen something belonging to a Christian ; and the other 
two, because they had kindled a lire in the city, by which 

* Vinesauf [Itim-r. Rich.] agrees with Wendovrr in this date; whk-h 
makes it probable that (iorvuse, who fixes it im the 1 1th, is in error, fur the 
llth of September in that year fell on a Monday. 


82 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [_A.D. 1189. 

the hou?e of a Christian citizen had been consumed. When 
the English people throughout the country heard of this attack 
on the Jews in London, they assailed them with one consent, 
and made a perfect havoc of them, slaughtering their persons 
and plundering their goods. But on the day after the coro- 
nation, king Richard, having received nomage and the oatli 
of fidelity from the nobles, gave orders that no Jews should 
.suffer forfeiture, but that they should live in peace throughout 
all the cities of England. 

Of king Ilh-hard's munificence. 

When the Cistercian monks came together from different 
parts of the world to a general chapter of their order, king 
Richard gave them every year a hundred marks of .silver, 
and confirmed it by a charter. 

I low king Richard bestowed pastors on the churches which were vacant 
throughout England. 

On the morrow of the elevation of the holy cross,* king 
Richard was at Pipewell,f where, by the advice, of his arch- 
bishops and bishops he convened a large council, and gave 
to his brother Geoffrey the archbishopric of York : whilst he 
appointed Godfrey de Lucy to the bishopric of Winchester, 
Richard archdeacon of Ely to that of London, Hubert 
Walter to Salisbury, and William de Longchamp to Ely : 
but Baldwin archbishop of Canterbury, after the elections 
were made, forbade Geoffrey archbishop elect of York, to 
receive sacerdotal orders or episcopal consecration from any 
other hands than his own, and on this behalf he appealed to 
the apostolic see. 

How If'jgh lishop of Durham obtained the title of earl for monry. 

At this time, king Richard deposed from his office of bailiff, 
Ralph de Glanville, justiciary of England, together witli 
almost all the English sheriffs and their officers, compelling 
all of them to pay a heavy fine of redemption ; and to raise 
funds for the recovery of the Holy Land from the, dominion 
of the infidels, he set every thing up for sale ; lordships, 
castles, townships, woods, farms, shrievalties, and such like. 
Whereupon Hugh de Pusaz, bishop of Durham, bought for 

The 17th of September. t In Northamptonshire. 


himself and his see, the king's township of Segcsfeld, 
together with the wapentake and all its appurtenances, and 
the earldom of Northumberland during his own life ; and 
when the king girded on him the sword which entitled him 
to claim the name of earl, he said to the attendants with a 
laugh, "I have made; a young carl out of an old bishop." 
But the bishop went still further, for to complete the ridi- 
culousness of the thing, he gave the king ten marks of silver, 
that he might be made justiciary of England, and not go to 
the Holy Land : and as a precaution against all gainsayere, 
he gave a considerable bribe to the apostolic see, which is 
never backward to meet a person's views, and so obtained a 
licence to remain. In this manner worldly ambition led him 
to lay aside the sign of the cross, which, as preachers tell 
us, ought to be borne by all men, and especially by bishops. 
By this conduct of the bishop was fulfilled a prophecy of St. 
Godric the hermit, who, when the bishop came at the 
beginning of his promotion, to ask the hermit about his 
future prospects, and the length of time he should live, used 
these words to him, " Of your future prospects and the num- 
ber of years you have to live, you must inquire from the 
holy apostles and others like them, but not from me ; for I 
am here doing penance for my sins, and grieve to say that I 
am still a wretched sinner : but this I tell you, that for seven 
years before your death you shall .suffer from a most lament- 
able blindness !" The bishop left the man of God, revolving 
in his mind the words which he had heard ; and as he had 
the most implicit confidence in the hermit, he paid great 
attention to his eyes, and consulted several physicians, that 
he might preserve his sight as long as he lived. But when 
many years had passed away, and he was seized with the 
sickness of which he died, he asked the physicians with 
much anxiety what he had best do, upon which all of them 
with one voice advised him to think in time of the state of 
his soul, and the more so, as he would soon be obliged to 
leave this world. The bishop, hearing these words, said, 
" Godric deceived me ; he promised me seven years of 
blindness before my death !" Now, surely we are ju.-tiiied 
in saying that he was blind, for by bribes he usurped to 
himself the empty title of earl and justiciary, mixed himself 
up with secular affairs, put off his pilgrimage to the Holy 

o 2 

84 BOG E It OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1 189. 

Land, and paying little regard to the care of the inward 
soul and the duties of a pastor, was not only deprived of his 
eye-sight, but was sunk in total darkness ; and thus this 
bishop, according to the sentence of the man of God, died 
at the end of seven years. At this time, earl William of 
Magnaville died at Rouen. 

Of a glorious battle fought by the Christians against the pagans. 

On the 4th of October in this year a battle was fought at 
Antioch between the Christians and the Saracens in the 
manner following : on the side of the Christians were the 
king of Jerusalem, the templars, the hospitallers, the marquis 
of Montferrat, the French, Theobald the prefect, and Peter 
Leonis the Landegrave, who, with the Teutons and Pisuns, 
collected together an army of four thousand cavalry and a 
hundred thousand foot. The pagan army under Saladin 
consisted of a hundred thousand horse and an immense 
multitude of foot soldiers. The Christians, bearing the sign 
of the cross on their armour, began the battle about the 
third hour in the morning, and, having God on their side, 
drove the pagans to their camp, and pursuing them at the 
sword's point, attacked and destroyed seven battalions of the 
infidels, slew five hundred of Saladin's knights, amongst 
whom were Baldwin, Saladin's son, and mortally wounded 
his brother Thacaldine. Whilst they were thus gloriously 
fighting, five thousand Saracen soldiers made a sudden sally, 
and attacked the Christians ; on seeing which Saladin roused 
all his strength. The Christians, pressed on both sides, 
forced their way in retreat through the pagans to their camp, 
but with the loss of the master of the templars and many 
others, who were slain on that day. 

Ambassadors on the part of the French kintj come to king Itichard to auk 
him to hasten his pilgrimage to the Holy Land in company with the kinti 
of the French. 

In the same month of October Rotrod, count of Perch e, 
came as ambassador on the part of the king of the French to 
England, to tell king Richard and the barons of England, that 
he with the nobles of the kingdom of France, at a general 
assembly at Paris, had sworn that he would without fail, God 
willing, come with his barons to Vi/elai, after Easter, thence to 
set out for Jerusalem ; and in proof of this oath the French 

A.D. 1189.] COUNCIL AT 85 

king had sent a letter to the king of England, asking him like- 
wise to give him a guarantee at the same term for the prosecu- 
tion of his journey. On this the king of England assembled the 
bishops and nobles of the kingdom at Westminster; and, after 
hearing the oath of the king of the French, to the effect that he 
would hasten his departure without fail, he ordered William 
his earl marshal to make oath by his own soul, that he, Richard 
would, at the time previously fixed on, meet the king of the 
French at Vixelai in order to start together from that place, 
tor the land of promise. The ambassadors, having fulfilled 
the object of their mission, returned to their own country. 
On the 1st of November in this year Godfrey de Lucy of 
Winchester, and Hubert Walter bishop of Salisbury elect, 
received consecration at the hands of Baldwin archbishop 
of Canterbury, in the chapel of St. Catherine at West- 

Of a conversation made between the archbishop of Canterbury and the 
monks of that place, and other matters. 

In the same month of November, John cardinal of Anagni, 
arrived in England at Dover ; and as the king was in the 
northern part of the kingdom, he was forbidden by queen 
Eleanor to proceed farther without an order from the king ; 
on which he spent thirteen days there at the expense of the 
archbishop, until peace should be made between the arch- 
bishop and the monks of Canterbury concerning the chapel of 
Akington. But Richard, who was a very wise king, being 
appealed to on both sides, came and in the same month of 
November arranged final terms of peace between them, as 
follows : First, that Roger the prior, whom the archbishop 
had installed in that office in opposition to the wishes of the 
monks, should be deposed ; that the chapel, which the arch- 
bishop had built in the suburb without their consent, should 
be destroyed; that the monks aforesaid should, according to 
the rule of St. Benedict, show canonical obedience and sub- 
jection to the archbishop; as they had been accustomed to do 
to his predecessors; and at the request of the archbishop the 
king gave to the deposed prior the abbacy of Evesham. It 
was also provided that the chapel aforesaid should not have 
the privilege of baptism or burial, nor the administering of 
any sacred rites, except such as could be discharged by one 
secular priest. 

86 nOGEIt OP WENDOVER. |_A.D. 1189. 

How ICi//Jam king of Scots did homage to king Richard at Canterbury. 

At the same time William king of Scots, did homage to the 
king of the English for his rights in England, and king 
Richard restored to him the castles of Roxburghe and 
Berwick ; for the redemption of which fortresses, and as a 
quit-claim for his fealty and allegiance concerning the king- 
dom of Scotland, and the confirmation of his charter, he paid 
to the king of England ten thousand marks of silver. 

Of the liberality of king Richard. 

At this time king Richard gave to his brother John the 
counties of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, and Dorset ; he also 
gave to his mother Eleanor her usual dowry, with lands and 
honours in addition to it. 

How king Richard crossed the sea to Normandy. 

On the 5th of December* in the same year, king Richard 
set out from the city of Canterbury for Dover; thence to 
cross the sea, and accordingly, on the eve of the feast of 
St. Lucy the virgin, he sailed for Flanders, where he was 
joyfully received by count Philip, who also accompanied him 
into Normandy. The king appointed Hugh bishop of 
Durham, and William bishop of Ely. his chancellor Hugh 
Bardulph, and William Briwere, guardians of the kingdon. of 
England, to keep the laws and customs of the kingdom in 
observance, and to administer justice to those who required 
it; but distinction was made between these guardians in 
favour of Hugh bishop of Durham, and William bishop of 
Ely, to the former of whom was entrusted the administration 
of justice in that part of the country extending from the great 
river Humber to the Scotch sea; whilst the latter obtained 
the judgeship of the country from the before-mentioned river 
to the Gallic sea. This much annoyed Hugh bishop of 

Instead of this sentence, Matthew Paris has as follows: " About the 
game time, on the 5th day ot December, king Richard, when he had finished 
his praying, fasting, and almsgiving, loll the city of Canterbury, promising to 
do all that the martyr could wish for touching those things for which the 
saint had contended so gloriously. He started for Dover on the eve of 
St, Lucy, and crossed over to FUnders the same day. Whilst he was at 
ca, he made a vow to build a chapel to the martyr in the Holy Land, 
where the s.iint should be his guide and protector, both by sea and land. 
This vow he fulfilled at Acre as shall be said hereafter." 


Durham, who then, for the first time, learnt that the king had 
made n justiciary of him, not from regard to justice, but that 
he might extort money, as has been before mentioned, from 
him ; for this reason he and the chancellor were seldom 
agreed, as the saying is, 

. . . ' For every power 

Js jealous of a rival.' 

How the archliishop laid an interdict on the landa of John the kinij'a 
brother, but the cardinal reteraed it. 

About this time John, the king's brother, laid a grievous 
complaint before the legate and the bishops, that the arch- 
bishop, even after an appeal made to the apostolic see, had 
laid an interdict on all his lands, because he had espoused 
the daughter of the earl of Gloucester, who was related to 
him in the third degree of consanguinity ; and on hearing this 
complaint the legate confirmed his appeal, and released his 
lands from the interdict. 

Ho w the tenth part of property in England was given to assist the 
lluly Land. 

At this time a tax of the tenth part of all moveables was 
generally levied throughout England, and collected for send- 
ing assistance to the Holy Land, and this violent extortion, 
which veiled the vice of rapacity * under the name of charity, 
alarmed the priesthood as well as the people. In this year 
Richard bishop of London, and William of Ely, were elected 
and consecrated at Lambeth on the last day of December. 

How the confederate kings determined to depart together to the Holy Land. 

A.I). 1190. At Christmas, Richard king of the English 
was at Bure in Normandy, and passed the time of that solemn 
festival there with the primates of that country. After 
Christmas, at an interview between the kings of England and 
Erance in the ford of St. Kemy, it was agreed that they 

* " Besides the oppression which England thus endured, the king, eager 
to acquire money, pretended that he had lost his seal, and commanded a 
new one to be made, and ordered it to he proclaimed in every county, that 
whoever desired to give greater validity to their charters should come with- 
out delay and have the new seal affixed to them. Many persons tl ere fore, 
not rinding the king in England, were obliged to cross the sea, niul to pay 
whatever fine he imposed for having the new seal affixed to their charters." 
M. t'aris. 

88 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.. 1190. 

should, under the Lord's guidance, hasten their departure tor 
Jerusalem at the same time. A form of agreement 1'or the 
preservation of peace between the two countries was, at the 
least of St. Hilary, made in the presence of the bishops and 
nobles of both kingdoms, and having been confirmed by oatli 
between the two sovereigns, it was committed to writing as 
follows, " I, Philip, king of the French, will keep good iaitli 
with Richard king of the English, as my friend and ally for 
life, for limb, and worldly honour ; and I, Richard, king of the 
English, promise to keep the same good faith with the king of 
the French as my lord and friend, for life, and for limb. We 
also agree to lend aid each of us, if necessary, in defending 
the territories of the other as zealously as if they were his 
own possessions." The nobles and barons of both kingdoms 
swore not to depart from their fealty to their kings, or to 
make war, till forty days should have passed in peace after 
the return of the sovereigns, and both of the kings joined in 
this oath. The archbishops and bishops of both kingdoms 
swore to promulgate the sentence of excommunication against 
those who should break through this compact. It was also 
determined that if either king should die on the expedition, 
the survivor should take charge of the treasure and forces 
of the deceased, to fulfil the service which they owed to 
God. As they were not able to settle this treaty definitively 
they delayed the business till the feast of St. John's nativity, 
in order that the sovereigns and all the crusaders might 
assemble without fail at Vizelai, to enter upon their pilgri- 
mage to the Holy Land. " And if any shall attempt to con- 
travene," such were the words of the treaty, " this our 
agreement, their lands shall be laid under the interdict of the 
church, and their persons be excommunicated. Having thus 
arranged matters they broke up the conference.* 

How }\"tliiam bishop of Ely appointed chancellor. 

Richard king of England, sent ambassadors, in conjunction 
with others sent by William bishop of Ely, to pope Clement, 
and obtained from that pontiff a decree as follows. " We, 
Clement the pope, greeting, The laudable request of our well 

* " About the same time IJaldwin archbishop of Canterbury held a 
council at Westminster, at which he bade farewell to his brethren and act 
Out for the Holy Land, in magnificent array." Af. J'aris. 

A.D. 1190.] MASSACRE OF JEWS. 89 

beloved son in the Lord, Richard the renowned king of the 
English, we in our apostolic ofHce, have decreed to entrust to 
thy brotherly care the duty of chancellor in all England, 
Wales, in the, archbishoprics of Canterbury and York, and in 
those parts of Ireland in which John earl of Moreton, brother 
of the king, holds power and authority given this 2nd of 
June, in the third year of our pontificate." 

How the archbishop of Canterbury tiisperidrd bishop Hugh. 
In this year, Baldwin archbishop of Canterbury wrote to 
Richard bishop of London as follows : " Whilst we were at 
Rouen, we suspended from the performance of his sacred duties, 
our brother Hugh of Coventry, for having, without regard 
to the dignity of his episcopal rank, usurped the office of 
>heriff ; but on his faithfully promising to resign into our 
hands the charge of the sheriffs office, and never again to 
busy himself with affairs of this kind, we thought him 
deserving of absolution. We, therefore, send this same 
bishop to you with this our letter, ordering you, in con- 
junction witli the bishop of Rochester and our clerks, 
without fail, to appoint a time and place to hear and make 
a just decision concerning the charges for which that prelate 
was suspended by us. 

Of t/m massacre of the Jews in sundry places. 
In this same year, many persons throughout England who 
were about to journey to Jerusalem, determined prerious to 
their departure, to cause a rising against the Jews. This 
lirst broke out at Norwich, where the Jews, as many as 
could be found, were slain in their own houses ; some few, 
however, escaped, and took refuge in the castle at that place. 
After this, on the 7th of March, many were slain at Stamford 
on market day ; on the 18th day of March fifty-seven wen- 
said to have been slaughtered at St. Edmund's; thus, 
wherever the Jews were found they were slain by the hands 
of the crusaders, except those who were protected by the 
municipal officers. But we must not believe that such a 
massacre of the Jews was pleasing to wise men, since it is 
written, " Do not kill them, lest my people should forget." 

Of the dreadful slaughter of the Jctrs at York. 

In the same year, during Lent, that is, on the 15th of 


March, the Jews of the city of York, to the number of five- 
hundred, besides women and children, through fear of an 
attaek on the part of the Christians, by permission of the 
sheriff and the governor of the castle, shut themselves up in 
that fortress, and when the garrison required them to give 
up possession of it, they refused to do so. On this refusal, 
repeated attacks were made both by day and night, and at 
length the Jews after reflecting, offered a large sum of money 
for their lives, but this was refused by the people. Then 
one of them skilled in the law, rose and addressed his com- 
panions thus, " Oh, men of Israel, hear my counsel. It is 
better, as our law instructs us, to die for our law than to fall 
into the hands of our enemies." This being agreed to by 
all, each head of a family came with a sharp razor, and cut 
the throats first of his wife, sons, and daughters, and after- 
wards of all his family, and threw the dead bodies, which 
they considered as sacrificed to devils, on the Christians 
outside the castle ; they then shut themselves up in the 
king's house, and setting fire to it, both living and dead were 
burned together with the buildings. After this the citizens 
and soldiers burned the Jews' houses, with the papers of their 
debtors, but retained their money for their own use. 

Geoffrey, archbishop elect of York, is ordained a priest. 

At that time, bishop William, the king's chancellor and 
justiciary of England, levied a tax of two palfreys and two 
chargers on each city of England, and of one palfrey and 
one charger on each of the abbacies. At this time, too, 
John bishop of Whithern, a suffragan of the church of 
York, ordained Geoffrey archbishop of York elect, to the 
priesthood. At the same time, the election of the aforesaid 
Geoffrey was confirmed by pope Clement, who, amongst 
other tilings, in a letter which he wrote to the chapter ot 
York, added these words, '' We therefore admonish the 
whole brotherhood of you, and command you by these our 
apostolic writings, that you pay reverence and honour to 
him as your prelate, that you may thereby prove yourselves 
praiseworthy in the sight both of Clod and man. Given at 
the Lateran, on the 7th of March, in the third year of our 


Of the array of the Christian army at the gicyc of Acre. 

The army of the Christians at this time before Acre wa 
disposed as follows : In front of mount Musardus, near the 
sea, were the Genoese; after them eame the hospitallers and 
the marquis of Montferrat ; next in suceession were Henry 
count of Champagne, Guy of Duinpere, and the count of 
Brenne ; next came the counts of Bar and Chalons, and after 
them, Robert of Dreux and the bishop of Beauvais ; then 
followed the bishop of Besan9<)n, and near him towards the 
plain were count Theobald, the count of Clarernont, Hugh 
de G on may, Otho de Treson, Florentius de Haugi, and 
Walkeline de Ferrars : then came the Florentines, next the 
bishop of Cambray, near whom was the bishop of Salisbury. 
with all the English force ; then came the steward of 
Flanders, with John de Neele, Odo de Ham, and the 
Flemings ; after them were the lord of Ilissoldone and the 
viscount of Tours, and near them the king of Jerusalem, and 
Hugh of Tabaria, with their kinsmen ; next were the templars 
and James d'Avennes, besides whom, were the Landegrave 
and the count of Geldres, with the Germans, Dacians. 
Teutons, and Frieslanders, between whom the duke of 
Suabia had pitched his camp in the neighbourhood of a 
mosque ; following them, near a tower, were stationed the 
patriarch and bishop of Acre, the bishop of Bethlehem, the 
viscount of Chatel-Herault, with Reginald de Fleehe, and 
Humphry of Tours, and the money changers under Turon ; at 
the extremity, near the port, was the archbishop of Pisa, 
with the Pisans ; lastly came the Lombards. 

A chapel is built at Acre in honour of the blessed martyr Thomas. 

About this time, a certain English chaplain, named 
William, a familiar of Ralph de Diceto, dean of London, 
when on his voyage to Jerusalem, made a vow, that on his 
safe arrival at the port of Acre, he would, at his own 
expence, build a chapel in honour of the blessed martyr 
Thomas, and would cause a cemetery to be consecrated to 
that saint, which vow he fulfilled. Many from all directions 
flocked together to the service of this chapel, and William, by 
the decision of all the Christians, took the name of prior, 
and to show his devotion as a soldier of Christ, made it his 
business to attend to the poor, and especially to the burial of 
the bodies of those who perished from disease, as well a* 
those slain in battle. 

92 KOOEIl OF WKNDOVEU. [A.D. 1190. 

Of the chiefs rf Xaladiu's army. 

The chiefs in Acre under Saladin were as follow : 
Caracos, who had been made a knight by Corboran at the 
siege of Antioch, and who had also brought up Saladin, and 
with him Gemaladin, Gurgi, Suchar, Simcordoedar, Bel- 
hagessemin, Fecardineer, and Cerantegadin. The chiefs of 
the army were these: his four brothers, Saphadin, Felkedin, 
Sefelselem, Melkalade ; his three sons, Miralis, Melcaleth, 
Melcalezis ; his two nephews, Techaedin and Benesemedin, 
and the chiefs Coulin, Elaisar, Bederim, and Mustop 
Hazadinnersel. All these chiefs held authority over the 
provinces of Joramma, Rotassia, Bira, the Persians, the 
Turks, the Hemsiensians, Alexandria, Damietta, Aleppo, and 
Damascus, and of all the country beyond the Euphrates, ex- 
tending to the Red Sea, and beyond it towards Barbary. 
Metalech ruled over Babylon, and to the four brothers of 
Saladin were entrusted the provinces of Abesia, Leeman, the 
Moors, Xubia, Ca3sarea, Ascalon, Amira, Bedreddin, Ami- 
rasen, Xazareth, Xeopolis, Camele, Mustoplice, and Maruch ; 
Hazadinneassar had charge of Mount Royal, Crach, Corisin, 
and part of Armenia, but Saladin was the sovereign ruler 
over all of them. 

Iloir the battering enginet of the Christians were burned by the Saracens. 

In the same year, Greek fire was hurled by the Saracens 
who were blockaded in the city of Acre, upon the engines 
which the Christians at great expense had constructed for 
subduing the city, and this instantly spreading abroad, re- 
duced them all to ashes ; this took place on the lifth of May. 

Ilotc traitors were discovered among the Christians. 

At this same time, Anser of Mount Royal revealed a con- 
spiracy which he in conjunction with the bishop of Beauvais, 
count Robert his brother, Guy of Duinperc, the Landegrave, 
and the count of Geldres, had entered into with Saladin, 
and for which they had received from that prince thirty 
thousand bezants and a hundred marks of gold, besides a 
bribe of four camels, two leopards, and four falcons received 
by the Landegrave, for which and for other gifts they had 
agreed to put off the attack on the city, and had allowed 
their battering forts to be burned. 


Kiny Kicnnrd's letter on behalf of his chancellor. 

At this same time, Richard king of England issued letters 
to all his liege subjects throughout England, as follows : 
" Richard, by the grace of God, &c. We command a?n! 
enjoin you, that as you regard us and our kingdom, as well 
as yourselves and your possessions, ye be in all things 
obedient to our friend and well-beloved chancellor, the 
bishop of Ely, in all things which tend to our welfare, and 
that ye act for him in all his commands on our behalf, as i;' 
we ourselves were in the kingdom. Witness myself at 

Of Ike commanders of king Richard's navy, and the laws made ayaim,t 

About that time, king Richard, in a council of nobles, 
chose and appointed Gerard archbishop of Auxienne, Bernard 
bishop of Barvia, Robert des Sables, Richard de Canville, and 
William de Font, to be justiciaries over the combined navv 
of England, Normandy, Brittany, and Poietou, which was 
about to sail for the Holy Land, and delivered letters patent 
to them as follow : " Richard, by the grace of God, king of 
England, to all his subjects about to sail to the Holy Land, 
greeting: Know all men, that we by the advice of our good 
council, have made these laws : Whoever on board ship 
shall slay another shall be bound to the dead man, and cast 
into tin; sea with him ; if any one shall kill another on land, 
he shall be bound to the dead man and buried with him ; if 
any one shall be convicted of having drawn a knife to strike 
another, or shall draw blood from another, he shall lose his 
hand ; if any one strikes another, he shall be dipped three 
times in the sea; whoever shall offer insult, or reproach, 
or curse his companion, shall be fined as many ounces of 
silver as times he shall have so insulted him ; a robber con- 
victed of theft shall have boiling pitch poured on his head, 
and a shower of ashes scattered thereon to know him, and 
he shall be set adrift at the iirst place the ships touch at." 
He caused an oath to be administered to each and all, that 
they would keep these laws, and would obey the ln't'ore- 
named justiciaries; after which he ordered the commanders 
of lu's navy to set sail and meet him at Marseilles. 

94 ROGER OF WBXDOVEB. [ A.D. 1190. 

How king Richard received the scrip and staff" at Vizclai. 

In this year the French and English kings met on the 
octaves of St. John the Baptist at Vizelai, where the body 
of St. Mary Magdalene is buried, and stayed there two days ; 
here the king of the English received the staff and scrip in 
the church of St. Denis. After this the kings with all their 
forces set out for Lyons, on the Rhone, where, when they 
and a great part of their armies had crossed the bridge, 
it broke, and many of both sexes were drowned. After this 
the kings separated, because one place was not large enough 
to hold such large forces when united ; the king of the 
French took the road to the city of Genoa, and the king of 
England towards Messina; and on the arrival of the latter 
at that place he found there many pilgrims who, owing to 
their long stay there, had spent all their money : of these, 
king Richard kept many and united them to his army. 
After having stayed at this place eight days in expectation of 
the arrival of his navy, finding himself deceived in his hopes, 
he collected together ten large busses, and nine well armed 
galleys, and embarked in these vessels, being anxious on account 
of the delay of his fleet ; and in the mean time, that he might 
not appear inactive, he sailed with a strong armed force, 
passing by the island of St. Stephen, Aquileia and the Black 
Mountain, the island of St. Honoratus, the city of Meis, 
and a city called Wintilimine. Thence he made his journey 
to the castle of Seine, and on the day he readied it he had an 
interview with the king of the French, who was lying ill 
there. On the 14th of August the king of the English 
reached the port of Dauphin, and stayed there five days. 
Whilst at this place the king of the French sent to ask him 
to supply him with five galleys ; the English king offered 
him three, but they were refused by the French king. On 
the 24th of August the king came to the harbour of 1'ortes- 
weire, which is half way between Marseilles and Messina, 
and so passing different places he entered the river Til>er, 
near the mouth of which there is a fine tower. At this place, 
he was met by Octavian bishop of Ostin, with a message on 
behalf of the pope, that the king would visit him: this the 
king refused, upbraiding the bishop lor the simony and 
greediness of the Romish priest-;, ami many other charges, 


adding, tliat they had been paid seven hundred marks for 
the consecration of the bishop of Maine, that they had 
received fifteen hundred marks of silver for granting tin: 
legateship to William bishop of Ely, and moreover of having 
received a large sum of money from the archbishop of Bour- 
deaux, who was accused of a crime by his clerks, and so 
after his refusal to visit Rome, he entered Apuleia near the 
town of Capua. 

How king Richard appointed his nephew Arthur to le his heir. 

At this time Tancred king of Sicily (who had succeeded 
to king William), in order to keep on peaceable terms with 
king Richard, gave to that king twenty thousand ounces of 
silver in discharge of all his claims against him, and the same 
quantity of gold as a quit-claim of the will, which king 
William had made in favour of king Henry, Richard's father, 
and in consideration of the marriage which had been agreed 
to be contracted between Arthur duke of Brittany and the 
daughter of king Tancred ; on which king Richard appointed 
the before named Arthur his heir, in case of his dying with- 
out any lawful heir, after which he set out on his pilgrimage. 

How queen Eleanor, on leaving her son, left Berengaria with him. 

At this time queen Eleanor, determined to follow the route 
of her son the king, and crossing mount Janus and the plains 
of Italy, she at length came up with him ; and after spending 
four days with him, she by his permission, returned to Eng- 
land, leaving with her son, Berengaria daughter of the king 
of Navarre, whom Richard was about to marry ; for king 
Richard had given to the king of the French ten thousand 
pounds as a quit-claim for his marriage with that monarch's 
sister; and, by that agreement too, the king of the French 
had ever resigned all his claim to the castle of Gisors and 
the whole of the Vexin. In this same year too Frederic, the 
Roman emperor, in the fortieth year of his reign, passed 
through Bulgaria on his way to Jerusalem, and in inarching 
from Iconium to Antioch, whilst his army safely passed the 
river Saphet, the emperor fell from his horse into the stream 
and was drowned. 

96 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1190. 

7/0:0 the blessed martyr Thomas appeared to the commanders of kint/ 
Kicliard's navy. 

In the same year the king of England's fleet was exposed 
to many dangers : on their voyage towards Lisbon they had 
doubled the promontory called Godesterre, and having passed 
Brittany with St. Matthew of Finisterre on their left, and tin- 
ocean, on which was their route to Jerusalem, on the right, 
they left Poictou and Gascony on their left. On the day of 
our Lord s ascension they were in the Spanish sea, when a 
dreadful tempest came on them, which dispersed the fleet 
immediately. In the raging of the storm, whilst all in their 
alarm were calling on the Lord, the blessed martyr Thomas 
archbishop of Canterbury, appeared at three different time* 
to three different persons who were on board the ship of the 
Londoners, and said to them, " Be not afraid, for I, and tin- 
blessed martyr Edmund, and St. Nicholas the confessor, have 
been appointed by the Lord, guardians of the king of Eng- 
land's fleet ; and if the crews and commanders of the fleet 
will guard themselves against sin, and repent of their former 
offences, God will grant them a prosperous voyage and direct 
their ways in his paths." These words were heard to b;- 
thrice repeated, after which the blessed Thomas disappeared 
and the storm forthwith ceased. Amongst the crew of that 
ship were, one called William with the beard, William Fit/ 
Osbert, and Geoffrey the gold-worker, and with them 
many citizens of London. These had now passed Lisbon 
and Cape St. Vincent, and had neared the city of Seville, 
which was then the extreme of Christendom in Spain: in- 
deed the Christian faith was as yet in its infancy there, for it 
was only the year before that it became Christian, and ha<! 
been wrested from the power of the pagans. The crew of 
the London ship, steering near the city, found by certain 
indications that Christians dwelt there ; they therefore put 
in, and were received with much honour by the bishop and 
all the rest of the inhabitants. There were on board this 
ship more than eighty well armed youths, whom the people 
of the city and the king of Portugal retained in their service 
for fear of the emperor of Morocco, giving them every kind 
of security for the pay they required, and a promise of large 
gifts in addition. Besides this ship, ten more of the English 


fleet which, with their crews, had been dispersed here and 
there, at length, by the grace of God, arrived at the city of 
Lisbon by way of the river Tagus. Afterwards the arch- 
bishop of Auxia, Robert des Sables, Richard de Canville, 
and William de Fortz, taking their course between Africa 
and Spain, after many storms, arrived, on the octaves of 
St. Mary, at Marseilles, with the whole of the fleet which was 
under their charge, and, finding the king there, they stopped 
to attend to the necessary repairs of the ships. 

flow Baldwin archbishop of Canterbury, and some others landed at Tyre. 

About the same time Baldwin archbishop of Canterbury, 
Hubert bishop of Salisbury, and Ralph de Glanville, formerly 
justiciaries of England, who had preceded the king of 
England on the voyage to Jerusalem, making a direct course, 
left Sicily on the left hand, and, after experiencing many 
dangers, arrived at Tyre about Michaelmas. John bishop of 
Norwich, however, went to the pope, and having obtained 
his permission, there laid aside the cross of the Lord, and so 
having cleared out his baggage, he returned to England 
absolved from his vows.* 

Of a quarrel between the kings at Afessina. 

On the 16th of September in this same year Philip the 
French king arrived at Messina, and was entertained in king 
Tancred's palace ; king Richard arrived on the 23rd of 
the same month, but was not allowed ingress to the city, for 
the French were afraid that the provisions would not suffice 
for the multitudes who followed the two kings. Richard, on 
learning this, sent his marshals to the elders of the city, 
requesting them to sell provisions to his army that they 
might not be pressed by want ; the citizens wished to open 
their gates and to treat such a great prince hospitably, but 
the French would not permit them, but climbed the walls 
in arms and resolved to defend the gates. At this king 
Richard ordered his troops to fly to arms, and to force an 

* M. Paris amplifies this sentence as follows : " He also offered money, 
which the pope received with avidity. Thus he easily obtained licence to 
depart, and emptying his baggage, that it might not be too heavy for him, 
he returned to Kngland absolved from his vow, leaving behind him a dis- 
graceful example to the army." 


98 ROGER OF WEN'DOVER. [A. D. 1190. 

entrance for himself and his followers, in spite of their 
enemies. The troops obeyed the king's commands, attacked 
the gates, forced their way into the city, and, after slaying 
many of the French, they, with the king at their head, put 
the rest to flight. When this event came to the ears of tin- 
French king he conceived the most violent indignation 
against the king of the English, and he never dispossessed 
himself of it as long as he lived ; nevertheless the two kings 
had a peaceable interview on the same day and made no 
mention of what had taken place. 

How king Richard subdued some fortresses. 

On the 24th of September in this year, the king of the 
French embarked, but as the wind was unfavourable lie 
returned the same day to Messina. On the 30th of Septem- 
ber king Richard crossed the river Var, and took a very 
strongly fortified place in Calabria, called Labamare, and, 
putting in it his sister Joanna, formerly queen of Sicily, he 
returned to Messina. The next day he took a fortress called 
the monastery of the Griffones, between Messina and Calabria; 
at this place the Griffones making an attack on Hugh Bruri 
earl of March, were driven back by king Richard, on which 
they closed the gates of the city, and betook themselves to 
the ramparts, and from thence slew and wounded several of 
the king's men and horses. The king, enraged at this, 
attacked and forced the gates, and took the city, and on the 
4th of October placed followers of his own in it, and on the 
following day the elders of the city gave hostages for tin- 
due observance of peace by them ; after this he there built 
a castle which was called Mate-Griffon. At this time a 
provincial council, of which William bishop of Ely, the legate 
of the ajM)stolic see, was president, was held at Westminster 
on the 15th of October, but at this little or nothing was done 
for the edification of the English church. 

How l/ic \orman ch'trch teas f rent from the yoke of slavery. 

At this time the church of God in Normandy, with king 
Richard's consent, was freed from its long endured yoke of 
slavery. In the first place it was determined and granted by 
the king, with regard to clerks, that on no occasion should 
they be taken by the secular authority, as had been the 


custom, unless for murder, theft, arson, or crimes of the like 
(enormity ; hut that, immediately on the requisition of the 
ecclesiastical judges, they should be handed over for judgment 
in the ecclesiastical courts. Also that in general, all questions 
of breach of faith or breaking an oath should be decided on 
in the ecclesiastical court. Also all questions of dowry, or 
marriage gifts, where goods or live stock were claimed, were 
to be referred to the church's arbitration. Also that in con- 
ventual establishments the election of abbats, priors, and 
abbesses should be with the consent of their bishop. Also 
that the secular courts should have no cognizance where 
ecclesiastics could prove that, by deed or otherwise the estate 
was eleemosynary, but that it should be referred to the 
decision of ecclesiastic judges. Also that the disposal of pro- 
perty bequeathed by will should rest with the church autho- 
rities ; and that no tenth part, as heretofore, should be 
deducted. Also with regard to the goods of clerks, although 
they were said to be usurers, that, however they might die, the 
secular authorities should have no power, but that their pro- 
perty should be distributed by the episcopal authority in 
works of piety. Also that whatever property laymen might 
have disposed of in their life time, by whatsoever title they 
had aliened it, although they might be called usurious, the 
same should not be revoked after their death ; but that what- 
ever should be found unaliened after their death, if it could 
be proved that they were usurious at the time of their death, 
should be confiscated. Also that if a person deceased should 
have any pledge by which he had gained any interest, his 
portion should revert to the depositor of the pledge, or to his 
heirs; the, same should be done with the portions of his wife 
and children after their death. If any one should be over- 
taken by sudden death or by any event, so that he could not 
dispose of his property, the distribution of it should rest with 
the church authorities. 

Of the death of Ilu/dwin archbishop nf Cantrrhury. 

At this time Baldwin archbishop of Canterbury, Iviticr :it 
the point of death i\t Acre, bequeathed all his property to 
assist the crusade in the IIolv Land, and after hi-; detva*o 
Hubert bishop of Salisbury, who had been appointed by the 
archbishop, his executor, faithfully distributed his property 

H 2 

100 ROGEK OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1190. 

on pious uses. Being chiefly anxious about the sentries of 
the camp, he paid, as the archbishop had in his life time 
determined to do, fixed salaries for several days to twenty 
knights and fifty of their attendants : he always took on him- 
self the care of the poor, casting the eye of compassion on the 
helpless, and in all respects fulfilling the duties of a good pre- 
late. But the city of Acre, notwithstanding the numerous 
assaults of the Christians, resolutely held out, for it was 
.surrounded by strong walls, and was well garrisoned and 
.supplied with warlike engines ; moreover Saladin's army 
.surrounded the besiegers on all sides, from which cause as 
well by the withdrawal of some of the Christians as by tilt- 
numbers who were slain, the army of Christ was much 
diminished ; nevertheless the Christians, having confidence 
in the consolation of Christ, were in hopes of being able to 
endure the hardships and toils of the siege until the arrival 
of the kings, if they should reach them by the ensuing 
Easter, but if not, then their money would fail, and all hope 
of earthly assistance would vanish.* 

Of the pride of William bishop of Ely, and chancellor of England. 

At this time William, justiciary of England and legate of 
the apostolic see, caused a deep trench to be dug round the 
tower of London, hoping to be able to bring the. waters of the 
Thames into the city, but after expending much from the 
treasury his labour proved fruitless. Moreover this same 
chancellor had become very great amongst all the people of 
the west, in England he was both a king and priest, and lie 
paid no regard to anything, whilst he was not contented witk 
the episcopal dignity alone, but showed that his thoughts were 
bent on things too high for him ; for he showed his vanity 
and haughtiness by saying at the beginning of all his letters 
" We, William, by the grace of God bishop of Ely, chancellor 
of our lord the king, justiciary of all England, and legate of 

" Saladin continually hovered over the hesieging army, and did them a* 
much harm a he could, and the Christians received much damage at his 
hands. If we may believe the report, then received privately 
many presents from Saladin, namely, precious- jewels, gold of the finest 
quality, and the most valuable of all, a coat of mail which no spear could 
penetrate. Kichard, excusing his prodigality and veiling his own avarice, 
fcuid to hia men, ' Let him give away whut is hi* own, if he likes to do bo.'" 

A.D. 1191.] MORTALITY AT ACRE. 101 

the apostolic .see, greeting, &<:." He exercised to an immo- 
derate excess the dignities which he had obtained ly bribery, 
endeavouring to repair the sacred establishments which In- 
had despoiled for the sake of acquiring his honours. lie dis- 
tributed money at his tables, so that he might come again 
and extort the same with interest, for he performed the duty 
of the legateship, which he had acquired at the expense of a 
thousand pounds of silver, so immoderately that lie became 
burdensome to all the establishments of England, both con- 
ventual and cathedral ; indeed he travelled through England 
with an array of fifteen hundred attendants, and accompanied 
by crowds of clerks, and surrounded by a troop of soldiers, 
neglecting all things which belonged to the dignity of his 
episcopal station. He was waited on at his table by all the 
sons of the nobility whom he had married to his nieces and 
female relatives, and all those whom he kept as his attendants 
thought themselves lucky. Never was there land for sale, 
which lie did not purchase, never was there a church or 
abbacy vacant which he did not dispose of or retain for him- 
self, nor any castles or towns of which he would not either by 
threats or bribes obtain the guardianship ; by these acts and 
many others of like character he struck terror into th;.- 
people. The kingdom of England was silent in his presence, 
and no one murmured, for there remained in England no 
power to resist him. His train was composed of 

" Ambubiiiarum collegia, pharmacopeia?, 
Mendici, mimae, balatronea, hoc genus omne." 

So that he on earth was followed by all kinds of music and 
singing, as the holy angels follow the all-powerful God in 
heaven. He acted entirely in such a way that he seemed to 
strive to put himself on a level with God, but the end of all 
this will be related in the subsequent history in due time.* 

Of t lie mortality at Acre. 

A.D. 1191. After the death of the venerable Baldwin 
archbishop of Canterbury, nobles and knights of well-tried 
powers died at the siege of Acre, as was said, from the 
unhealthiness of the atmosphere; amongst these were I\alph 

* " Having obtained the lepitine power from the pope, he held n council 
at Westminster. W. bishop of Worcester, and W. abb-it of Westminster, 
died on the '2!itli of March." !\T. I'aris. 

102 ROGER OK WEN DOVER. [A. D. 1101. 

de Fulcher, count Robert of Perche, Theobald of Blois, 
count Stephen, his brother, the count and yon of the emperor 
Frederick, the earl of Ferrara, earl Robert of Leicester : 
Ralph de Glanville, Ralph Hauterive, the archdeacon of 
Colchester, and innumerable others besides. The French 
and English kings, in the meantime, were waiting in Sicily 
the arrival of spring to avoid the dangers of a voyage by 
winter. In this year too, pope Clement, after filling the 
apostolic chair for fourteen months, died, and was succeeded 
by Celestine, formerly called Ilyacinthus. 

How Philip king of the French, and liichnrd king of t/ie Knglish, 
embarked at Messina. 

On the 29th of March in this year, the French king 
embarked at Messina and made sail direct for Jerusalem. 
On the 10th of April he was followed by king Richard in 
f^reat pomp with a fleet consisting of thirteen busses with 
three masts besides a hundred transports and fifty triph- 
banked galleys ; after a passage of twenty days they neared 
the island of Rhodes, and ten days after they put into 
Cyprus. But Cursac, the ruler of the island, who had 
assumed the title of emperor, came with a strong armed 
force to prevent the king's entering the harbour, and madt 
prisoners several of his followers who were shipwrecked, 
robbed them, and cast them into prison to die of hunger. 
The English king, burning with rage, attacked this enemv 
and soon defeating him, took and detained him prisoner, and 
reduced to submission his only daughter and the whole of tin- 
island with all the fortified places. Cursac made an agree- 
ment with the king that he was not to be kept in jron chains, 
and the king to keep his word caused him to be bound in 
chains of silver, and ordered him to be placed in a castle 
near Tripoli, called Margeth ; but his daughter with the two 
queens he kept honourably guarded in his own house. KiriL r 
Richard had, for the sake of refreshing himself and his 
followers after their tedious voyage, and of procuring an 
increase of fresh provisions, determined to stop at this island, 
without doing damage to any one, but the above named 
Cursac forbade him to attempt entering his territories; more 
than this he had forbidden any of his subjects to sell provi- 
sions to the English king's army, or to expose articles to 


tliem for sale, arid by these means he roused the mind of the 
king to anger, and forced him to inflict on him the before 
named injury. When at length the king had obtained 
possession of all the money of the island, and had arranged 
all matters to his satisfaction ; he there married Berengaria, 
daughter of the queen of Navarre, the same whom queen 
Eleanor had brought to him whilst he was staying in Sicily. 
On the 4th day of Easter week in this year, pope Celestine 
consecrated as emperor, Henry son of the emperor Frederick. 
In this year too, Philip count of Flanders, who had sailed for 
the Holy Land with the king of the French, died without 
leaving any children. 

How Geoffrey, archbishop of York, was imprisoned at Dover. 

About this same time, by command of the supreme pontiff, 
Bartholomew, archbishop of Tours, ordained Geoffrey, elect 
of York, a bishop, and he, after his consecration, set out for 
England, and arrived with his followers at Dover. Matthew 
de Clere sheriff of that county had shortly before received a 
letter from William bishop of Ely, to this effect, " We order 
you that if the bishop elect of York shall arrive at any port 
in your jurisdiction, or any messengers of his, you cause him 
to be detained until you receive orders from us regarding 
him; we likewise order you that you cause to be detained all 
letters of our lord the pope or of any great man, which may 
come to those parts." Matthew therefore, on learning the 
arrival of the archbishop, with the advice of the bishop of 
Ely's sister, who then had the charge of the castle, was not 
slow to fulfil his instructions ; for six days he with a band 
of armed men besieged him in the priory of St. Martin, and 
reduced him to such straits that in the meantime it was with 
difficulty that provisions which he obtained from charity 
could be brought to him ; for the treachery of the disaffected 
increased daily, and the soldiers of the bishop of Ely came to 
the above named church with staves, and rushing armed into 
the archbishop's presence peremptorily ordered him to leave 
the kingdom without delay and to sail for Flanders. On his 
refusal to obey this mandate, with his robe over his shoulders, 
and the cross in his hands, he was violently dragged from 
before the altar by his feet, arms, and legs, with his head 
beating against the ground, and, together with his clerks and 

104 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A. D. 1191 

religious men, who had come to see him from many quarter:?, 
was taken to the castle ami thrown into a dungeon, where he 
was kept close prisoner for eight days. This treatment 
coming to the knowledge of the bishop of London, that 
prelate immediately went to the chancellor, and with much 
difficulty after many entreaties obtained the archbishop's 
release, being obliged to give his whole bishopric as security 
for him. The archbishop therefore, released from prison, 
came to London, where he was received by the bishop, clergy, 
and people, with all honours and in solemn procession. This 
rash presumption, as the following history will show, after- 
wards redounded very much to the disgrace of the chancellor. 

A remarkable eclipse of the sun. 

In the month of June in the same year, on Sunday, the 
eve of St. John the Baptist, there appeared about the sixth 
hour of the day, an eclipse of the sun, which lasted till the 
eighth hour, the moon being twenty seven days old and the 
sun being in the sign of Cancer. 

How king Richard took a ship called a dromutid. 

On the 21st of March* in that year, Philip king of the 
French landed at Acre, and Richard following him, embarked 
at Cyprus with a large stock of provisions. lie heard that 
the French king's army was suffering at Acre from hunger 
and scarcity to such a degree, that a quart of corn cost sixty 
marks, and he therefore hastened to the relief of such distress 
and misery with his ships loaded with large quantities of 
corn. Whilst he was sailing with a fair wind towards Acre, 
which city was formerly called Ptolemais, there came in 
sight on the 6th of June, a very large ship, called a dromund, 
which had been sent loaded with an immense sum of money 
from the city of Baruch, by Saladin's brother, Salahadin, 
Soldan of Babylon, to carry assistance to the pagans who 
were besieged in Acre. On board this vessel they had Greek 
fire, and many pots of fiery serpents ; and the crew consisted 
of fifteen hundred warriors, besides fifteen hundred strong 
men by whose aid the ship might be strengthened. King 
Richard immediately ordered his followers to prepare for 

* Some mistake in date here : Pliilip only left Messina on the 29th of 
31 arch. 

A.D. 1191.] THE CAPTURE OF ACHE. 10.J 

action, and on the galleys nearing one another a fierce attack 
commenced on both sides, but the hostile ship became help- 
less on account of the wind failing. At length one of the 
king's rowers, who was a skilful diver, approached the pagan 
vessel under water, and bored a hole in it, after doing which, 
under Christ's protection, he returned to his own ship and 
told the king what he had done. The water entering in a 
short time rose over the deck of the ship, and the crew, who 
before trusted to their bulwarks, soon lost all hope of escape ; 
thirteen hundred of these were drowned by king Richard's 
order, the surviving two hundred he kept as hostages. 

Of king Richard's arrival at Acre, and the capture of that city. 

King Richard, after collecting all the spoils of the pagan 
ship approached the port of Acre, whither he was bound, 
with a favouring wind. At length on the 8th of June the 
king entered the harbour, and the shrill sound of clarions, the 
braying of trumpets, with the horrid din of the horns tilled 
the air near the shore, and resounded for a distance round 
inland; this event animated the Christians to battle, but 
struck terror into the besieged Saracens, for it proclaimed 
the arrival of this great chief. King Richard showed his 
generous feelings to all by supplying food to the famished 
army. The two kings then, attended by crowds of knights 
and soldiers, arranged stone engines and other machines 
around the city, and by the weight of their missiles, and con- 
stant use of these engines day and night, they battered the 
walls of the city so that the infidels were panic-struck, lost 
all confidence in their power of resistance, and at length held 
a council, and began to treat of peace. The conditions of 
the agreement were, that, for the ransom of the garrison. 
Saladin should restore the true cross, which he had taken in 
battle, and should release fifteen hundred captive Christians, 
to be chosen by them, and in addition to the above stated 
agreement should pay seven thousand bezants. Thus the 
city, with the arms and everything in it, excepting only tin- 
persons of the Saracens, was happily surrendered to the two 
kings on the 12th of July. When the appointed day of pay- 
ment arrived Saladin did not fulfil his agreement. To punish 
this great transgression, therefore, about two thousand >ix 


hundred were beheaded, only a few of the most noble were 
saved and placed in prison at the disposal of the kings. 

Haw the French king through envy returned to his own country. 

After the city was subdued, the king of the French made 
arrangements to return home, as though the war was entirely 
an end; for he was annoyed beyond measure at all the credit 
of the success of the Christian army being given to king 
Richard. Pleading, therefore, want of money and poverty 
as his excuses, he said he could not stay there any longer ; 
but the English king Richard, who had a burning desire to 
promote the cause of the crusade, en hearing this, promised 
that he would supply the king of the French with a share of 
all he possessed, in money as well as in his supplies of pro- 
visions, horses, arms, and ships, in order that they might 
unitedly endeavour to drive the enemies of Christ from tin- 
Holy Land. But in as much as the French king had sworn 
to return, and determinately arranged for it, notwithstanding 
that his followers loudly exclaimed against it, and the whole 
army was greatly excited ; he embarked to return to his 
country with only a few in his company. Moreover there 
had arisen between the two kings a secret disagreement, so 
that the king of France proposed to deliver the city of Acre, 
and the other cities, castles, and districts, which they might 
take, to the marquis of Montferrat, and to appoint him king 
of the Holy Land; for this same marquis had married the 
daughter of king Almeric, sister of the queen of Jerusalem, 
who was lately deceased. King Richard was throughout 
opposed to this wish, and plainly proved that it would be 
more consistent with right to restore to king Guy his king- 
dom, of which he had been some while since deprived, than 
to appoint another whilst he yet lived ; since it appeared 
that he had lost his sovereignty, not through his own indo- 
lence, but that, through his boldness in a fierce war, owing 
to the number of his enemies, and the weakness of his own 
army, he had been taken at the same time as the cross by the 
Saracens. This is known to have been the original cause of 
discord between the before-named princes, although a differ- 
ence had sprung up in the first place, though concealed, at 
Messina in Sicily, when king Richard had obtained posses- 
sion of the city with an armed force, and destroyed many of 


the followers of the French king, on account of the abus< 
and harassing treatment of the English by his army. Th- 
king of the French, therefore, seeing that the people of ditfer- 
ent countries, who had flocked to the Holy Land, placed 
themselves under the command of king Richard, and that the 
fame of the hitter's prowess increased daily, because he wus 
better supplied with money, more profuse in bestowing gift:-, 
possessed of a larger army, and was braver in attacking his 
enemies, thought that the fame of his own prowess war- 
dimmed by that of another's, and was therefore in greater 
haste to embark. In addition to these reasons, he wished to 
possess himself of the territory of the count of Flanders, 
who had lately died : therefore after he had pledged his oatli 
not to invade the territories of the English king or of the 
chiefs, who remained with him, he took his departure. King 
Richard then caused the trenches and breaches in the wall^ 
of Acre to oe repaired, and fortified it with men and arms. 

Of king liichard's proyrest, 

After these events, on the eve of the assumption of the 
blessed Mary, king Richard, with his fellow warriors, led tin- 
way from the gates of Acre, and boldly set out on his march 
to besiege and take the cities on the sea coast ; and he 
ordered his camp to be pitched near and in sight of Saladin's 
army, at the place where he had caused the two thousand six 
hundred of the Saracens, whom the two kings had taken 
prisoners at Ptolemais, to be beheaded, as has been before 
related. When the report of this event reached the Saracens, 
who occupied the maritime cities, they were alarmed lest the 
king in his anger should inflict on them a similar punishment 
to that of the Ptolemaidans, and having no confidence in 
Saladin's assisting them, since he had refused to pay what 
was demanded of him for the ransom of the others, they 
evacuated their cities and fled immediately on hearing of the 
approach of the king. This was the case with the inhabit- 
ants of Caiphas, Ca;sarea, Assur, Joppa, Gaza, and Ascalon. 
and thus, by the will of God, all the maritime district in that 
part of the country fell into the hands of the Christians. 
This did not however result without some severe lighting : 
for the army of Saladin followed closely on the Christian 
flanks, and in the defiles dreadfully harassed the out-posts, 


from which cause great slaughter often ensued in both 
armies. King Richard, therefore, after he had fortified the 
cities above named, returned in triumph to Acre.* 

But this account which we have given will be more clearly 
understood by our giving the letter which Richard sent to 
Walter archbishop of Rouen, on this same subject. "Richard, 
by the grace of God, king of England, &c. Know that 
our lord the king of the French, has returned home ; and 
we, after repairing the damage and breaches of the city of 
Acre, in order to promote the Christian cause, and to fulfil 
the purpose of our vow, marched to Joppa, in company with 
the duke of Burgundy and his French followers, count Henry 
and his troops, and many other counts and barons. Whereas 
between Acre and Joppa the country is extensive and the 
way long ; we at length, with much sweat and toil, came 
down to Caesarea ; Saladin too lost several of hiawfollowers in 
this same march. When the army of God had rested some 
time at Joppa, we set out again on our proposed march ; and 
when our advanced guard had gone forward and was pitching 
the camp near Assur, Saladin, with a large host of pagans, 
made an attack on our rear guard ; but, by the divine favour, 
though only four battalions were opposed to him face to face, 
he was put to flight ; they pursued him for one league, and 
made such a slaughter of the Saracen nobles on that day, 
St. Mary's eve, at Assur, as Saladin for forty years past has 
not in one day sustained. After this, under God's guidance, 
we came to the city of Joppa, and strengthened it with 
trenches and walls ; it being our purpose, wherever we could 
reach, to promote the cause of Christianity as much as lay in 
our power. Saladin, indeed, since the day of the above 
mentioned discomfiture, has not dared to come to a close 
engagement with the Christians, but secretly lays snares for 
destroying the friends of the cross, as a lion in his den awaits 

* Matthew Paris gives this sentence as follows : " Severe conflicts how- 
ever continually took place, in consequence of Saladin'! continually hover- 
ing on the Christian army. Thus the kin^ returned triumphant to Acre, 
and after a few days went to Joppa, not far from C'jcsarea, where he gave 
Saladin a disgraceful defeat, and obtained a glorious victory. He then 
he-stowed the kingdom of Jerusalem on hi.s nephew Henry, together with 
the widow of the marquis of Montferrnt for a wife. At the same time he 
redeemed for a large Mini of money the relics of many saints, which Saladin 
had taken." 


sheep destined for the slaughter. On hearing, however, that 
we were marching with haste on Ascalon, he razed that city 
to the ground, and now, as it' deprived of all plan and delibe- 
ration, he leaves all Syria to its fate ; on which account we 
take courage, being in good hopes that in a short time the 
inheritance of our Lord will be entirely regained. Farewell, 

IIuw king Richard gave the kingdom of Jerusalem to his nephew Henry. 

On king Richard's return, as has been mentioned, to 
Ptolemais, he gave to his nephew Henry the kingdom of 
.Jerusalem, with the wife of the marquis of Montferrat, as 
she was the heiress to the kingdom, since the death of her 
sister the queen of Jerusalem. This arrangement was wil- 
lingly agreed to by Guy of Lusignan, formerly the sovereign 
of that kingdom, and for securing peace he received the 
island of Cyprus, which in the late war had been taken from 
the king of that island by the English king, to whom Guy 
did homage for it. The marquis had been lately slain at 
Tyre by the Saracen assassins ; and at his death, the kingdom 
of .Jerusalem, as has been said, belonged by hereditary right 
(o his wife. 

How kitty Richard redeemed all the relics of the Holy Land. 

Saladin had some time before made prisoner Guy king 
of Jerusalem, and taken the cross of our Lord, soon after 
which he laid siege to Jerusalem. The inhabitants, who had 
remained in the city, being in consternation at their reverses, 
and despairing of being able to resist Saladin, at once sur- 
rendered the city to him ; but he allowed none to depart 
from it unless they paid ten bezants each as a ransom. The 
rich at once ransomed themselves, but seven thousand men 
were found in the city, who had not the means of payment ; 
but their fellow citizens compassionating their misfortune, 
by unanimous consent, took the gold and silver crosses, the 
cups and phylacteries, stripped our Lord's sepulchre of its 
metal, and the other ornaments found in the churches, and 
redeemed their poor townsmen. They also collected all the 
relics of the saints which could be found in the sanctuaries, 
and put them in four large ivory rollers. Saladin, <>n the 
surrender of the city, amongst other things which he had 

110 KOGK.:: OK WKNDOVER. [A. D. 1191. 

seized, had seen these, and making earnest inquiries what 
they contained, he ordered them to be taken to Baldach, and 
to be delivered to the caliph, that the Christians might no 
longer boast of the bones of dead men, nor believe that they 
had, as interceders for them in heaven, those whose bones 
they worshipped on earth. But the chief and patriarch of 
Antioch and others of the faith, by no means wishing to 
be despoiled of such a store of treasure, promised on oath to 
pay fifty-two thousand bezants to redeem these same relics, 
and if they should fail in payment of the aforesaid money on 
the day agreed on, that they would resign the said relics to 
him. According to this agreement, the chief of Antioch 
took the relics away with him under seal ; and now all the 
followers of Christianity were overcome with grief and alarm 
because the time for payment fixed by Saladin was approach- 
ing, and the beforenamed chief had taken the relics away 
with him to restore them sealed, as he, received them, to that 
prince. But the English king Richard, who was at Furbie, 
heard of this, and knowing that the thing had been done in 
all due order, at once paid the prearranged sum to Saladin 
for the sacred relics, and piously retained the pledges of the 
saints, that these men of God, whose bones he had redeemed 
from impious hands on earth, might, by their intercession, 
assist his soul in heaven. Eaeli coffer was of such a size and 
weight that four men could hardly carry it for any length of 

The disrorrry of Arthur, (fir most famous king of the /iri'oris. 

In the same year the bones of Arthur, a renowned king of 
Britain, were found buried at Glastonbury, in a very old sarco- 
phagus, near which two pyramids stood, and on these, letters 
had been carved out, but which were scarcely legible on ac- 
count of their roughness and shapelessness. The occasion of 
their Ix'ing found was as follows: Certain people who were 
digging a grave in the same place to bury there a monk, 
who had during his life earnestly desired to be buried there, 
found a kind of sarcophagus, on which was placed a leaden 
cross with these words curved on it: "Here lies the re- 
nowned Arthur, king of the Britons, buried in the island of 
Avalon." The place is surrounded on all sides by marshes, 
and was formerly called the " island of Avalon," that is, the 
isle of apples. In this year too, Robert, a canon of the 


church of Lincoln, and son of William, seneschal of Nor- 
mandy, was at Canterbury consecrated bishop of Winchester, 
by William, legate of the apostolic see. 

How king Richard luid suspicion* regarding the chancellor. 

At this time the most serious complaints came from day to 
day to the king of the pride of his chancellor, and the inju- 
ries he inflicted on many ; he therefore wrote to the nobles 
of England as follows : " We, Richard, king of England, to 
William our marshal, G. Fitz-Peter, II. Bardolph, and 
W. Bruyere, &e. If by chance our chancellor, to whom 
we entrusted the management of affairs in our kingdom, 
shall not have faithfully performed his duties, we order 
you to take measures for managing the affairs of the king- 
dom at your own discretion, both as regards escheats and 
fortresses. At this same time William archbishop of Rouen, 
came to England, bearing letters from the king to this effect : 
' We. Richard, by the grace of God, king of England, to 
William, marshal, and others his compeers, greeting. Know 
that we have thought fit, for the defence and arrangement of 
our kingdom, to send to you our beloved father William 
archbishop of Rouen, who has been recalled from his pil- 
grimage by the consent of the supreme pontiff; wherefore 
we command and strictly enjoin you that, in the management 
of our affairs, you order all things with his advice ; and it is 
our will that, as long as we are on our pilgrimage, you 
mutually take counsel together in arranging all matters, he 
with you, and you with him."* 

Of the disgraceful fall of the chancellor. 

Ill this same year on the Saturday next after Michaelmas, 
at the request of earl John, brother of the king of England, 
the English nobles assembled near the bridge of the Ixxldon. 
between Reading and Windsor, to hold a conference on 
matters of importance to the king and kingdom. But on tin- 
day after the conference, the archbishop of Rouen, as well 
as the archbishop of York, and all the bishops who had as- 
sembled at Reading to be present at the conference, in 

* " This ycur died pope CK mont, .-mil was succeeded l>y (Vlistin,-. 1 T 
whom the emperor Henry was crowned on the eve of saint John the Haj - 
list." il/. 1'aris. 

112 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A. D. 1191. 

solemn form, with lighted candles, excommunicated all those 
who had advised, aided, or commanded the abduction from 
the church, and the unworthy treatment and imprisonment of 
the archbishop of York, especially naming Albert de Marines, 
and Alexander Puintil. On the Monday following, the 
before mentioned earl, knowing that the chancellor feared an 
attack from him, proposed to him, in order to lull all suspi- 
cion, to come to a conference at a safe place near Windsor 
Castle, as the chancellor had requested, and gave him a 
guarantee for his safety by the bishop of London ; the chan- 
cellor, however, not satisfied with this security, fled imme- 
diately, and took refuge in the tower of London. The earl 
on learning the flight of the chancellor, came himself to 
London, but as he was about to enter the city, he was met by 
a body of the chancellor's knights, who with drawn swords 
made a fierce attack on him and his followers, and slew a 
nobleman called Roger de Planes. On the following day, 
Tuesday, the said earl with the archbishops, bishops, knights 
and barons, assembled in the chapter-house of St. Paul's, 
and in the chancellor's presence, after a long discussion, 
swore fealty to king Richard; earl John first took the oath, and 
was followed by the two archbishops, and all the bishops, 
and the knights and barons assembled. On the Thursday 
following this meeting, another conference, at which the 
before mentioned nobles were present, was held in the 
eastern part of the Tower of London, at which it was defini- 
tively determined, by unanimous consent, that the kingdom 
of England should not again be under the rule of a man, 
by whose conduct the church was degraded, and the people 
reduced to want ; for this same chancellor and his satellites 
had so exhausted all the wealth of the kingdom, that they 
did not even leave a man a silver belt, a woman her necklace, 
or a nobleman a ring, or money, or any thing of value to a 
Jew ; they had likewise so emptied the king's treasury, that, 
after the lapse of two years, nothing could be found in his 
coffers except keys and empty vessels. It was also provided, 
that all the fortresses, which the chancellor had at will en- 
trusted to the charge of his followers, should be given up, 
and in the first place the Tower of Ixmdon ; and these reso- 
lutions the chancellor swore he would comply with. In pur- 
suance of this, on the follow ing Tuesday lie left the Tower 


with all his household, and crossed the river Thames to 
Bermondsey, leaving his brothers Henry and Osbert as se- 
curity for the restoration of the castles ; for he had sworn 
too that he would not leave the kingdom till the fortresses 
had been given up. He thence went to Canterbury, and 
took the cross of the holy pilgrimage, laying aside that of the 
legateship, which he had borne for a year and a half after the 
death of pope Clement, to the detriment as well of the Roman 
as the English church. After doing this he went to Dover, 
attended by Gilbert bishop of Rochester, and Henry do 
Cornhill, sheriff of Kent, and thinking he could blind tin- 
eyes of the sailors there, he invented a new kind of fraud ; 
he converted the man into the woman, inasmuch as he ex- 
changed the priest's robe for the harlot's gown. He clothed 
himself in a woman's green gown, with a cape of the same 
colour, and with a hood over his head, he went down to tin- 
beach carrying some linen cloth as if for sale. As the priest 
thus disguised was sitting on a rock near the shore waiting 
for a fair wind, a sailor who wished for some sport with the 
woman, was astonished to find breeches on a female, and im- 
mediately shouted aloud, "Come here, all of you, corne here !" 
said he, "and look at a man in woman's dress !" A number 
of idle women assembled, and eagerly inquired the price of 
the cloth which he carried for sale : he made them no answer, 
as not understanding the English language, on which they 
consulted amongst themselves ; and suspecting him to be an 
impostor, they laid hands on the veil which covered his 
mouth, and pulling it down from his nose backward, they 
discovered the features of a man, dark, and lately shaved. 
Immediately they shouted to each other, saying, " Come, let 
us stone this monster who is a disgrace to both sexes." A 
crowd of men and women got together there, and, tearing 
the hood from his head, they threw him down and dragged 
him ignominiously by his sleeves and cape over the sand and 
stones, injuring the prelate much. At length his followers 
came up to release him, but without success, for the people 
followed him up with insatiable eagerness, reviled him, 
assailed him with blows, spat on him, and after dragging 
him through the streets, shut him up as a prisoner in :i 
cellar. And thus he became an object of derision to tlu> 
populace, and would that he had unly disgraced himself and 
VOL. n. I 

114 ROGER OP WENDOVER. [A. D. 1192. 

not the whole priesthood ; he who had dragged the arch- 
bishop of York to prison was himself dragged to prison, 
the captor was made captive, the binder was himself bound, 
the incarcerator was incarcerated ; so that the degree of 
punishment may be considered as commensurate with that of 
the offence. At length, regardless of the hostages he had 
left, and the oath he had made not to leave the kingdom of 
England before the castles were surrendered, the said chan- 
cellor crossed sea into Normandy on the 29th of October. 

An unheard-of event. 

In the same year, a young man of the bishop of London's 
household, taught a hawk especially to hunt teals ; and 
once, at the sound of the instrument called a tabor by 
those who dwelt on the river's bank, a teal suddenly flew 
quickly away ; but the hawk baffled of his booty, inter- 
cepted a pike swimming in the water, seized him, and carried 
him apparently forty feet on dry land. The bishop, astonished 
at this singular circumstance, sent the hawk and pike, as 
a curiosity to future times, to earl John, on the 22nd of 

Of the death of Reginald, archbishop elect of Canterbury. 

A.D. 1192. Reginald bishop of Bath, who had been 
elected to the archbishopric by the monks of Canterbury, 
died on Christmas day, twenty-nine days after his appoint- 
ment, and was buried in his own church at Bath, near the 
great altar. 

The king of the French arrived at Paris from his pilgrimage. 

About this time the king of the French returned from his 
pilgrimage, and was received at Paris in solemn procession, 
on the 27th of December. 

Of the capture of Darum by king Richard. 

After Easter in this same year, king Richard came to 
Darum, the last fort of Christendom next to Babylon, and 
after a siege of five days took it, and allowed the garrison to 
depart on payment of a heavy ransom. 

How king Ilichtird toiik seven thousand cameli laden with treasure. 

After this victory, the duke of Burgundy came to king 
Richard with the French troops, of whom he had, by the 


authority of the king of the French, been appointed leader 
and commander-in-chief ; to this duke, king Richard had at 
the preceding festival, given thirty thousand bezants, on 
condition of his faithfully standing by him in attacking the 
enemies of Christ, and, at a council held by them, they 
determined to go without fail to Jerusalem. When king 
Richard, with all his army, had reached Castle-Ernald and 
Bethonople, near Emaus, some Bedouins, who were under 
obligations to the king, brought him news that a large com- 
pany of merchants were on their way from Babylon to 
Jerusalem, with seven thousand camels, laden with mer- 
chandize of various kinds, and that this company was under 
the convoy of some of the bravest picked troops of Saladin's 
army. The king marched with a few soldiers to meet this 
company, and near the Red Well he surprised them all, and 
carrying off the camels with their burdens, he liberally dis- 
tributed his prize amongst his army. He afterwards returned 
to the before mentioned camp, and prudently placed armed 
garrisons in each city and castle.* 

Of a certain woman who was friendly to the Christians, especially to 
king Richard. 

King Richard returned victoriously with all his spoil to 
Castle-Ernald, which is three miles distant from Jerusalem, 
and earnestly exhorted each of the chiefs to march and lay 

" About this time, the duke of Austria came to discharge his vow of 
pilgrimage by serving in the Christian army, and to adore the places where 
our Saviour had trodden. When his marshals had engaged a lodging for 
him, and made the necessary preparations, a Norman knight, of king 
Richard's household, came in haste, and beginning foolishly to bluster after 
the manner of his nation, asserted that he had the greatest right to those 
quarters, by having them assigned to him as first comer. The quarrel 
began, and the noise reached the ears of the king, who, showing himself 
favourable to the Norman, was inflamed with anger against the duke's 
men, and not heeding our Lord's admonition to go and see how matters 
were, gave hasty and unbecoming orders that the duke's flag, which had 
l>een erected over his lodgings, should be thrown into a ditch. The duke 
thus deprived of a lodging, went, amid the taunts of the Normans, to com- 
plain of it to the king, but he gained nothing but sneers for his pains ; and 
thus, being slighted by the king, he with tears invoked the King of kiting 
to avenge his wrong, according as it is written, ' Vengeance is mine, I will 
repay, saith the Lord.' The duke soon after this, returned in confus-ion to 
his own country, and king Richard afterwards blushed with shame at the 

i 2 

116 ^ BOOEfi OF WENDOVEB. [A. D. 1192. 

siege to Jerusalem, whilst they had such a plentiful sup- 
ply of everything, namely, of provisions and beasts of 
burden, and reminded them of the great benefits conferred 
on them in their pilgrimage by the divine clemency. More- 
over, the king was encouraged to this in no slight degree by 
a religious woman, a Syrian by country, who dwelt in the 
city of Jerusalem. This woman had communicated to him 
all the secret* of the city, how frightened and spiritless the 
Saracens were become on account of his arrival ; she also 
told him that all the gates of the city were locked except 
St. Stephen's gate, at the north side of the city, near which 
she advised him to station his army, and al-o sent him a key 
by means of which he could unlock the gates. After, how- 
ver, it had been determine*! by all to lay siege to Jerusalem, 
the duke of Burgundy, taking counsel with the templars and 
the French chiefs, was induced to revoke his determination; 
they asserted that the duke with all the French, would 
incur their lord the French king's severest displeasure, if, by 
their aid, king Richard should triumph over .so great and re- 
nowned a city, and none of the credit of the victory were 
ascribed to the duke himself, or to the French, although it 
was by them that such a great city was taken. 

J/oif Itte duke of liurgundy irrn >r''lrd by Saladin, and dej.arted frorr, 
the Holy Land. 

In the meantime, messengers were sent by the duke to 
Saladin, but for what end past and future events will show. 
One night, whilst the English king was staying at the before 
named camp, and the duke with his followers was at lietho- 
nople, a spy of king Richard's, by name Jumaus, Inward the 
noise of camels and men in motion coming down the moun- 
tain: he stealthily followed them, and found that they were 
people *ent by Saladin to the duke's camp, with five camel- 
laden with gold, silver, and merchandize, and with silk 
stuffs, and many other presents. The py hurried back to 
his master, and told him all these circumstances, and then 
taking some of the king's attendants, get out cautiously on the 
road by which the messengers would return, to lie in wait 
for them ; and as they were on their way back lie took them 
prisoners, and brought them into the presence of the king : 
one cf them, after being put to torture, unwillingly revealed 

A.D. 1192.] PROrHECT OF A HEKM1T. 117 

nil that had passed between Saladin and the duke. At day- 
light, the king, after removing the messengers out of flight, 
ordered the duke as well as the patriarch and prior of 
Bethlehem to l>e sent for; and when they were together in 
a private place, he immediately made oath in their presence 
upon the sacred relics, that he stood prepared, as had been 
agreed between thorn, and confirmed by oath, to march with 
his army to the attack of Jerusalem and the city of Baroch, 
without possession of which the king of Jerusalem could not 
Iw crowned. After he had sworn thus, the king called on the 
duke to take an oath to the same effect ; this the duke 
refused to do, at which the king was greatly enraged, and at 
once called him a traitor, and reproached him with receiving 
various presents from Saladin, and concerning the secret 
messengers and communications which had passed between 
them. The duke denied, and endeavoured to defend himself 
against these accusations, but the king ordered the mes- 
sengers whom the spy had made prisoners, to be brought 
before them : after they had been brought in, and had 
revealed all the secret proceedings, the king ordered his 
servants to shoot them in sight of the whole army, although 
both armies were ignorant of the reason for such cruelty, 
and did not know what those men had done, or whence they 
had come. As for the duke, he was so overcome with 
shame and rage at being proved a traitor, that, as soon as he 
could, he left with the French army, and set out for Acre ; 
but the king learning his intention, sent word to the com- 
manders of that city not to allow a man of them to enter it, 
so they pitched their camp outside the place. 

of a certain hermit, who prophriied that Jerusalem irouki nr>t be * if><lucil. 

On the night after the duke's departure in the manner 
described, there came to the king a devotee, who brought 
him a message from a holy hermit, to the effect that he 
should hasten to see him. The king rose, although it was 
night, and taking five hundred attendants with him, went to 
the man of God. This holy man had lived for a long tim.^ 
on the mountain at St. Samuel's, and was endowed with the 
spirit of prophecy ; from the day of the capture of our 
Ix>rd's cross and tin.' taking of the holy place, he had eaten 
nothing but herbs and roots, and wore no other covering than 

118 UOGER OF WEXDOVER. [A.D. 1192. 

that of his hair and lengthened beard. The king gazed for 
some time in astonishment at the hermit, and then asked him 
what he wanted with him. The holy man, delighted at the 
king's arrival, took him with him into his oratory, and there 
removing a stone from the wall, he drew forth a wooden 
cross, and devoutly held it out to the king, declaring that 
without doubt this cross was made from the wood of our 
Lord's cross. He also, amongst other things, told the king 
that he would not by any means obtain possession of that 
country at present, although he had acted most perseveringly, 
and, in order that the king might the more readily put faith 
in what he said, he declared that he should himself depart 
this life on the seventh day from that time. The king, in 
order to prove the event of his words, took the hermit with 
him to his camp, and, as he had foretold, he died oa the 
seventh day after. 

Of the miserable death of the duke of Burgundy. 

On the day after these events the king moved his camp, 
and. following the route of the duke of Burgundy, pitched 
his camp near that chief outside the city of Acre ; but 
scarcely had he and his weary army rested for three days, 
when there came to him in alarm some messengers, who had 
been sent from Joppa with the news that Saladin with his 
whole army had laid siege to that city, which they said 
would soon be captured, and the knights and soldier.-', whom 
he had placed there as a garrison, be slain, unless lie could 
soon bring assistance to the besieged. At receipt of this 
intelligence the whole Christian army was thrown into great 
alarm and sorrow : amongst the rest king Richard in a state 
of great anxiety endeavoured both by his own exertions and 
those of others to bring back the offended duke of Burgundy 
to terms of agreement and peace, and earnestly begged him 
to give his assistance to prevent such a great calamity. That 
chief, however, disdained to listen to their entreaties, and not 
wishing to be annoyed by their requests, set out witli his 
followers that night towards Tyre ; but immediately on his 
arrival there he was struck by a visitation of God, and 
becoming insane, terminated his life by a miserable death. 


How king Richard forced Saladin to raiie the riege of J op pa. 

King Richard, after the death of the duke of Burgundy, 
embarked on board his ships of war with a small force, 
and hastened to Joppa to render assistance to the besieged ; 
but owing to the violence of the winds and the heavy sea his 
ships were driven in a contrary direction towards Cyprus, 
and the inhabitants of Acre, seeing this, suspected that the 
king was returning home. But the king and those with him, 
in spite of the fury of the winds, by means of strong rowing, 
made an oblique course, and on the third day, at glimmer of 
dawn, they arrived with but three ships at Joppa. In the 
meantime Saladin, after frequent assaults, had now taken the 
city, and had slain all the infirm and wounded soldiers, who, 
on account of their weakness remained there ; but five of 
them bolder than the rest, whom Richard had placed there 
in charge of the city ; left it and betook themselves to the 
castle, where they were debating about surrendering the castle 
before they should be compelled to do so by assaults of the 
enemy. This they would quickly have done had they not been 
forewarned by the patriarch, who was allowed free passage 
between the two armies, that the army of Saladin had, to 
avenge the deaths of their friends and relatives whom the 
English king had beheaded without mercy in many places, 
sworn to slay them all, notwithstanding they should have 
Saladin's free permission to depart. Thus they were in 
great danger of death, and were in doubt as to what they 
should do, considering the number and ferocity of their 
enemies, and the few there were of themselves, and having 
no confidence in the king's coming to assist them ; when 
however, they learned that the king had arrived they became 
bolder and defended themselves courageously. The king, 
knowing from the fierce struggles both of besiegers and 
besieged, that the castle of the city was not yet taken, leaped 
nimbly into the sea armed as he was, and with his followers, 
boldly threw himself like a raging lion into the thickest of the 
enemy's troops, hewing them down right and left. Tin- 
Turks being unable to endure this sudden attack, and think- 
ing that he had brought a more numerous army with him, 
soon abandoned the siego, exhorting each other to fly, and 
announcing the inopportune arrival of tin- king: and their 
panic was such that their llight could not be checked till they 

120 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A. D. 1192 

entered the city of Ramula, Saladin all the time leading 
their rapid flight in his chariot. King Richard having thus 
put the enemy to flight, pitched his camp in the plain outside 
the city, to the great and unexpected joy of the besieged. 

How king Richard trith a small force defeated sixty-two thousand pagant 
at Joppa. 

On the day after his defeat Saladin was told that the king 
had come with only a very small army, and that he had no 
more than eighty knights, besides four hundred of his cross- 
bowmen in company with him, on hearing which he was 
greatly enraged and indignant with his army, because they, 
so many thousands, had been put to the rout by such a few. 
He thereupon, to the confusion of his army, there counted 
them out, and issued his imperial edict that sixty-two 
thousand of them should return immediately to Joppa, take 
the king himself prisoner, and bring him alive on the follow- 
ing day into his presence. The king and his army were 
resting that night in security, and without fear of any in- 
opportune attack, when at daybreak the whole army of the 
infidels came up and entirely surrounded the king's camp, 
and, that they might have no chance of escaping into the 
city, an immense force had stationed themselves between it 
and the royal camp. The king and all the Christian forces, 
aroused by their bustle and shouting, were wonder-struck at 
seeing themselves hemmed in on every side by the enemies of 
Christ. The king, however, perceiving their imminent 
dangers, immediately armed himself, and mounted his horse as 
if he flew with wings, and laying aside all fear of death, as if 
he were emboldened by the number of his enemies, encouraged 
by his voice his men to the combat ; he himself with eleven 
knights, who alone out of the whole number were mounted, 
boldly broke through the ranks of the enemy, with his drawn 
sword and quivering lance, and dealt thundering blows 
with his clashing sword on the helmed heads of the enemy, 
and freeing the Arab horses from their proper riders, lie 
distributed them to his own knights, who were on foot. 
They, nimbly mounting them, with the king always leading 
the way, dispersed the troops of the enemy on all sides, and 
put to death without mercy all that came in their way. The 
pagans falling under the strokes of the enemy uttered 


miserable cries and yielded their souls to Tartarus. In this 
battle the cro.ssbowmen took the lead, and behaved moat 
praiseworthily, for by their incomparable valour especially the 
enemy's attack was repelled, and their fierce audacity 
humbled. How much the king's valour shone in this battle, 
and how much the prowess of his men, how many thousands 
of the enemy he put to flight, would seem incredible, were it 
not that the divine hand protected him. For who would 
ever believe that eighty knights could so invincibly cope with 
sixty-two thousand men for almost an entire day, could 
endure the showers of their missiles, and the attacks of their 
javelins without retreating a foot from their first position, 
but could moreover disperse their adversaries in all directions, 
and after putting them to flight, have thus gained a joyful 
and unlooked-for victory over them, unless they relied on the 
assistance of God, and believed that they were under the 
protection of Heaven ? At length the garrison of Joppa, 
beholding the invincible bravery of the king and his followers, 
boldly sallied forth, and suddenly falling upon the enemy in 
the rear, by repeated attacks on their part as well as on that of 
the king, the infidels turned their backs and fled in con- 
fusion, with great loss, taking to woods and caves for safety. 

How the army of the Christians arrived to the assistance of king liirhard. 

In the meantime news had reached the army, which had 
been left at Ptolemais by the king, that he was hemmed in 
on all sides at Joppa by the enemy, and was placed in great 
peril, unless they speedily went to his succour. This news 
struck fear and grief into all, and they all had thoughts of 
flight ; but the more courageous part of the army assembled 
to deliberate on the chances of their being able to render the 
king any assistance. They therefore by common consent 
marched to Cncsarea, not daring to go further for fear of the 
enemy ; and being there told of the unexpected victory of the 
king, they were overcome with joy, and gave praises to God 
as the preserver of them all. This battle took place at the 
feast of St. Peter ad 

* Matthew Paris adds here : " When Saladin heard these things he 
was compelled to glorify Christ the Lord and God of the Christinns. adding 
that king Richard was the most wonderful prince in the world, if he would 
only be less prodigal of his life, fur, said he, it did not become a king tc 

122 ROGER OF WEXDOVEB. [A.D. 1192. 

How king liichard determined to return home. 

After this unequalled victory the king remained seven 
weeks at Joppa, during which time a deadly disease, caused 
by the unwholesome atmosphere, made destructive attacks on 
him and his followers, and all who were seized with this 
disease perished, with the exception of the king, who was 
preserved in health by divine favour. Moreover the king at 
this time discovered that his money was by degrees falling 
short, owing to the bountiful distributions he had unadvisedly 
made amongst his soldiers, and tinding that the French army, 
and others, whom, on the duke of Burgundy's death, lie had 
at great expense kept together and retained with him, were 
anxious to leave him, and that his own army was diminished 
in number by the deadly disease and by conflicts with the 
enemy, whilst their numbers daily increased, he took counsel 
with the templars, hospitallers, and the chiefs who were with 
him, and made arrangements to return home immediately, 
binding himself by oath to return to the siege of the holy 
city as soon as he had reinforced his army, and supplied 
himself with money. Besides the foregoing reasons for his 
departure, what had much the most weight with him was, 
that he had been told that his brother John, whom he had 
left in England, was conspiring to bring England to subjec- 
tion to him, and the result proved that lie wished to do so. As 
it was evident that the departure of such a great army, and 
such a prince as liichard, could not but expose those who re- 

expose himself to such clangers ; but any king who had a thousand such 
warriors under him. might soon vanquish the whole world." At the same 
time also Saladin, for vengeance' sake, commanded a captive, who had once 
been prince of Antiocli, and had now been worn down by long confinement, 
to be brought before him. " What would you do," said he looking grimly on 
him, "to me, if you had me prisoner as I have you!" The captive 
remained silent, and Saladin adjured him to speak the truth. " Then," 
said the prisoner, "you should be capitally punished, and no gold should 
ransom you, because you are an enemy to our Lord : though you are a 
king as I am, I would cut off your head, because you persist in your own 
houndish laws." To which Saladin replied, (> I think you will never have 
such power over me. Out of your own mouth will 1 judge you, for I will 
cut off your head." He then ordered a sword to be brought, and the 
captive offering his neck, exclaimed, " This is what I always prayed for, 
and I am glad to receive death at your hands." His hands were then 
bound and Paladin cut off his head. Who will deny that this was glorious 
martyrdom ? See I'attio Reginald* in 1'elri Ulesensin Opera, vol. iii. 


mained there to great danger, and hazard the loss of th- 
country they had subdued, a truce was, at the request and by 
the advice of both armies, agreed on between the Christians 
and pagans for a period of three years, to commence from 
the ensuing Easter. 

How king Richard returned from his pilgrimage. 

Accordingly in the autumn, when his ships were ready 
and all his arrangements made, king Richard with his queen, 
and her sister Johanna the queen of Sicily, and his noble?, 
set sail to cross the Mediterranean. Whilst on their voyage- 
unusual storms arose, and they suffered many hardships in 
reaching land, some suffered shipwreck, some, after being 
shipwrecked, escaped to shore, almost naked, and with loss of 
their property ; but a lew reached the destined port in safety. 
Those however, who escaped the dangers of the sea, found 
themselves everywhere set upon by bands of enemies on 
shore, by whom they were made prisoners and robbed, and 
some were obliged to pay heavy ransoms ; there was no place 
of refuge for them, as if both land and sea had conspired 
against the retreating crusaders. From this it is sufficiently 
evident that their departure, before the object of their 
pilgrimage was accomplished, was by no means pleasing to 
(Jod, who had determined after a short time to enrich them 
in that country, by bringing their enemies into subjection to 
them, and bestowing on them the land on behalf of which 
they had undertaken such a toilsome pilgrimage. For while 
they were thus absent, that invader of the Holy Land, 
Saladin, in Lent following closed a wicked lift; by a miserable 
death, and they, if they had been present at that time, would 
have very easily obtained possession of the Holy Land, whilst 
the sons and relatives of the same Saladin were disputing 
amongst themselves and contending for their father's king- 

How the said king escaped from many snares laid for him by his entm'ws. 

King Richard with some of his followers, after being 
harassed by storms for six weeks, approached the roast of 
Barbary, about three, days' sail from Marseille- 1 , where, from 
an increasing report, he learned that the count of St. CJik-s, 
and all the other princes, through whose territories he was 
about to travel, had unanimously con.-pired against him, and 

124 ROOER OF WENDOVER. [A. D. 1192. 

everywhere laid snares for him ; he therefore arranged to 
return secretly by way of Germany. lie accordingly put 
back with a few of his followers, amongst whom were 
Baldwin of Bethune, and Master Philip, his <jlerk, Anselm* 
his chaplain, and some brothers of the templars ; this party 
put into a town in Slavonia called Gazara, and thence they 
immediately sent a messenger to the nearest castle to ask for 
peace and safe conduct from the lord of that province, who 
was nephew of the marquis. The king had on his return 
purchased of a Pisan merchant, for nine hundred bezants, 
three jewels, called carbuncles, or more commonly "rubies;" 
one of these he had, whilst on board ship, enclosed in a gold 
ring, and this he sent by the said messenger to the governor 
of the castle. When the messenger was asked by the 
governor who they were that requested safe conduct, he 
answered that they were pilgrims returning from Jerusalem. 
The governor then asked what their names were, to which 
the messenger replied, " One of them is called Baldwin de 
Bethune, the other Hugh, a merchant, who has also sent you 
a ring." The lord of the castle looking more attentively at 
the ring said, " He is not called Hugh, but king Richard," 
and then added, " Although I have sworn to seize all 
pilgrims coming from those parts, and not to accopt of any 
gift from them, nevertheless for the worthiness of the gift 
and also of the sender, to him who has so honoured me a 
stranger to him, I both return his present and grant him free 
permission to depart." With this the messenger returned 
and told the king all that had passed. In alarm at this dis- 
covery, the party procured horses, and in the middle of the 
night set out secretly from the above-named town, and for 
some time proceeded without interruption through that 
country; but that same governor had sent a scout after them 
to his brother, telling him to seize the king when he eame 
into his territory. When therefore the king had arrived 
there, and had got into the city where the before-mentioued 
lord's brother lived, the latter immediately sent for a trusty 
friend of his, called Roger, of Norman race, an inhabitant of 
Argenton, who had lived with him for twenty years, and 
whose niece he had married, and ordered him carefully to 
search all houses where pilgrims were lodged, and if possible 
* \Vlio saw and heard all those things and told them to us. M. Paris. 


to find out the king either by his language or any other sign, 
promising to give him halt' the city if he .should take the 
king. This messenger, by inquiring at the dwellings of the 
pilgrims separately, at last found the king, who, after long 
dissembling, was compelled by the entreaties and tears of the 
faithful inquirer to acknowledge who he was, on which he 
with tears besought the king to take instantly to flight, and 
gave him a very excellent horse. After this he returned to 
his master and told him, that, what he had heard of the 
king's arrival was untrue, but that they were Baldwin de 
Hethune and his companions returning from their pilgrimage. 
His master, however, flew into a rage, and ordered them all 
to be seized ; but the king with William D'Estaing and a 
boy, who understood the German language, escaped from the 
city by stealth, and remained on the road for three days and 
nights without food, when, driven by the calls of hunger, he 
diverged to a village, called Gynatia, on the Danube, where 
at that time, to complete his misfortunes, the duke of Austria 
was stopping. 

flow king Richard was taken by the duke, and thrown into prison. 

King Kichard having thus landed in Austria, he sent his 
boy to the town of Gynatia to market, to buy food for his 
hungry attendants. The boy, on going to the market, made 
a show of several bezants, and behaved in a haughty and 
pompous manner, on which he was seized by the citizens 
who asked who he was, to which he replied that he was the 
servant of a rich merchant, who had arrived at that town 
after a three days' journey : they on this let him go, and he 
went stealthily to the secret dwelling of the king, and advised 
him to fly at once, telling what had happened to him. The 
king, however, wished, after his harassing voyage, to rot 
for a few days in the above-named town, and, having occa- 
sion to purchase necessaries, this same boy often went to the 
public market : and on one occasion, on St. Thomas the 
apostle's day, he happened incautiously to carry his ma.-ter 
the king's gloves under his belt. The magistrates of the 
place seeing them, had him again apprehended, and after 
inflicting various tortures on him, and beating him, threatened 
to pull out his tongue and cut it oil', if lie did not at umv 
confess the truth. The boy at length was compelled by 

126 KOGER OF WENDOVER. [A. D. 1193. 

these tortures to tell them how the matter stood. The 
magistrates immediately sent word to the duke, and sur- 
rounded the king's house, insultingly ordering him to give 
himself up quietly ; the king, however, undismayed by their 
tumultuous shouts, and seeing that even his prowess could 
be of no avail against such a number of barbarians, ordered 
the duke to be fetched, promising to give himself up to him 
alone ; and on the latter coming up, lie surrendered himself 
with his sword. The duke, delighted at this, took the king 
with him in an honourable way, but afterwards delivered 
him to the custody of his soldiers, with orders that they 
were to keep a most strict guard over him, with drawn 
swords day and night. Now, it must not be considered that 
this dreadful misfortune came to pass without the decree of 
the Almighty, although it is not revealed to us ; whether it 
was to punish the king's own errors in his youth, or to 
punish the faults of his subjects, or that even the said king 
might be recalled to repentance and a just atonement for his 
crime, in having, by the assistance and advice of the French 
king, besieged his father in the flesh, king Henry, when ill 
in his bed, at the city of Maine ; for although he did not 
slay him with his sword, yet, by frequent attacks he forced 
him to leave that place, and it cannot be doubted but that all 
these circumstances were the cause of his death. In this 
year too, Savary, jrchdeacon of Northampton, was elected 
bishop of Bath ; he then went to Rome, and was there 
ordained a priest, and on the 19th of September he received 
consecration from Alban bishop of Albano. 

How the duke of Austria sold the king of England to the emperor. 
A.D. 1193. King Richard remained a prisoner of the 
duke of Austria till that prince sold him to the Roman 
emperor for sixty thousand pounds of silver, Cologne weight, 
and then on the Tuesday after Palm Sunday he caused him 
to be carefully guarded ; and that he might compel the 
king to pay an immoderate sum for his ransom, he ordered 
him to be imprisoned in Trivallis (Treves), from which 
prison no one who had entered there up to that time had 
ever come out again, and of which place Aristotle says 
in his fifth book, " Bontim est mat-tare parentes in 
Trivallis," and elsewhere it is said, " Sunt loca, sunt gentes, 
quibus est mactare parentes." Into this place was the 


king put under a strong guard of soldiers and attendant*, 
who accompanied him wherever he went with drawn swords, 
day and night, and even kept guard by turns round his 
couch, not allowing any of his own followers to remain with 
him at night. None of these circumstances could ever 
cloud the calm countenance of the king, but he always 
seemed cheerful and agreeable in his conversation, and brave 
and daring in his acts, as time, place, cause, or person 
required. To others I leave the relation of his jokes to his 
guards ; how he made them drunk, and assaulted their huge 
persons by way of amusement. 

How the emperor accused king Richard in many things, and how the king 
prudently replied to them. 

The emperor for a long time cherished feelings of anger 
and malice against the king, and did not even deign to receive 
him into his presence, or even to speak to him ; for he com- 
plained that the king had offended him and his friends in 
many things, and pretended that he had many charges 
against him. At length, after the interposition of friends 
from time to time, especially of the abbat of Cluni, and 
William the king's chancellor, the emperor called together 
his bishops, dukes, and knights, and ordered the king to be 
brought into his presence, and there accused him of many 
offences before all of them. In the first place, to wit, that it 
was by Richard's advice and assistance that he, the emperor, 
had lost the kingdom of Sicily and Apulia, which of right 
belonged to him on the death of king William, and to obtain 
which he had collected a very large army, and spent an 
endless sum of money, he, the said king, faithfully pro- 
mising him his assistance to obtain that kingdom from 
Tancred. He next, with regard to the king of Cyprus, 
a relation of his own, accused Richard of having unjustly 
dethroned and imprisoned that monarch, and of having 
forcibly invaded his country, robbed his treasury, and sold 
the island to a foreigner. He next accused him of tin- 
denth of the marquis of Montferrat, his heir, asserting that it 
was owing to his treachery and machinations that that noble- 
man had been slain by the Assassins ; and that he had also 
sent the same people to slay his lord the king of the French, 
with whom he had, during their pilgrimage, kept no faith in 

128 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1193. 

common, as had been agreed, and confirmed by oath, between 
them. Lastly, he complained that he had at Joppa thrown 
into the dirt the flag of his relation, the duke of Austria, in 
contempt of him, and had always insulted his Germans in 
the Holy Land by offensive words and conduct. 

After these and the like charges had been made by the 
emperor, the English king at once stood forth in the midst 
of the assembly ; and replying to the charges one by one, 
spoke so clearly and convincingly, that he was looked upon 
with admiration and respect by all, and no suspicion of his 
being guilty of the offences imputed to him any longer 
remained in the minds of his hearers. For he plainly proved 
the truth and order of his words by veritable assertions and 
likely argument of the case, so that he quashed all the 
charges, and did not withhold the truth of what had happened. 
He firmly disavowed the accusation of treachery, or of his 
being the plotter of any prince's murder, asserting that he- 
would prove his innocence of such charges as the court of 
the emperor should decide. After he had for a long time 
pleaded before the emperor and his nobles, in answer to the 
charges most ably, the emperor, admiring his eloquence, rose, 
and sending for the king to come to him, he embraced him, 
and from that time behaved with kindness and leniency 
towards him, and treated him with the greatest familiarity.* 

How king Richard paid a fine of a hundred and forty thousand pounds 
for his ransom. 

After these events, on the mediation of friends from time 
to time, the ransom of the king was for a long time discussed; 
and at length the result was, that a hundred and forty thou- 
sand marks of silver, Cologne weight, were to be paid to the 
emperor for his ransom money before they could corne to any 
agreement. Accordingly on St. Peter and St. Paul the 
apostles' day, the bishops, dukes, and barons, made oath that, 
as soon as the king should have paid the above-named sum, 
he should be at liberty to return to hia own kingdom. The 
news of this treaty was brought to England by the king's 
chancellor, William bishop of Ely, who brought with him 

" The duke of Austria was afterward* excommunicated by our lord the 
pope and all hw cardinals: but on his death-bed, though he did not gi\c 
s.iti>f.ictioi>; yet, lest he bhould fail into desperation, he was absolved by his 
bishop*, and died horribly.'' At. J'arit, 


letters from our lord the king, and also the golden bull of th* 
emperor; and a warrant was immediately issued by the justi- 
ciaries of the king, that all bishops, priests, carls, and banm-, 
abbacies and priories, should contribute a fourth part of their 
incomes towards the. king's ransom, and moreover they gave 
thefr^gold and silver vessels for that work of piety, lint 
John bishop of Norwich took half the value of the vessels 
throughout the whole of his diocese, and gave half to the king. 
The Cistertian order, which, up to that time, had been free 
from all tax, gave all their wool for the ransom of the king. 
Indeed, no church, no order, rank, or sex, was passed over with- 
out being compelled to aid in releasing him. Forewarning^ 
of this calamity had appeared in unusual seasons inundations 
of rivers, awful storms of thunder and rain three or four 
times in each month, with dreadful lightning throughout the 
whole year ; all which caused a scantiness in the crops of 
fruit and corn. 

Exculpation of king Richard from the charge of the murder of the 

The English king, when he was unjustly, as has been said, 
accused of the murder of the marquis, sent messengers to the 
chief of the assassins, asking him to write to the duke or the 
emperor of Austria to prove his innocence ; and from him the 
king obtained the following letter: "The old man of the 
mountain to Leopold duke of Austria, greeting. Whereas 
several kings and princes beyond sea have accused our lord 
Richard king of the English, of the murder of the marquis ; 
I swear by the God who reigns eternally, and by the law which 
we observe, that no blame attaches to him in regard of the 
death of thnt noble. The cause of the marquis's death was 
as follows: One of our brotherhood was coming in a vessel 
from Salteleia to our part of the country, when a storm drove 
him into Tyre, where the marquis took him prisoner, mur- 
dered him, and took possession of a large sum of money belong- 
ing to him. We sent messengers to the marquis asking him to 
restore to us our brother's money, and to make reparation to 
us for his murder, which he would not do, but insulted our 
messengers and charged the murder of our brother on Regi- 
nald lord of Sidon, yet we, by means of friends, ascertained 
of a truth that it was the marquis himself who caused the 

VOL. II. K. 

130 KOGKU OF WENDOVEtt. L .V.D. 1193. 

man to be murdered and robbed. We again sent another 
messenger, named Kdrisus, to him, and this one he wished 
to throw into the sea; but our friends hastened his de- 
parture from Tyre, and he returned at once and told us these 
things. From that hour we desired the death of the mar- 
quis, and accordingly sent two of our brothers to Tyre, and 
they there openly, and almost in the face of all the inhabit- 
ants, slew him. This was the cause of the marquis's death, 
and we indeed speak truly in saying that our lord king 
Richard had no hand in the death of that noble, on whose 
account he has suffered injury unjustly and without cause. 
Also be assured that we do not kill any man in this way for 
the sake of reward or for money, but only when lie hast first 
inflicted an injury on us. And know that we have written 
this letter in our house, at our fort of Mcssiac, in the, pre- 
sence of our brethren, and sealed it with our seal, in the 
middle of September, in the year one thousand live hundred 
from the time of Alexander. 

How Hugh bishop of Chester was robbed of all his goods. 

About this time, Hugh bishop of Chester was hastening 
with large presents, which he had procured with the greatest 
trouble, to see the king ; but as he was stopping a night near 
Canterbury to rest, lie was seized and robbed of all he had 
with him. Matthew de Clera, castellan of Dover, showed 
favour to the robbers, for which he was excommunicated by 
the archbishop, but it is not known whether he atoned for it. 

Of the death of Sul-idin, and succcfston of Saphadin. 

About this same time Saladin, the public enemy of truth 
and the cross, was struck by the visitation of God at a feast 
at Nazareth, and expired suddenly, whereupon his brother 
Saphadin usurped the sovereignty there. But there were 
with him the seven sons of Saladin, against whom the sons 
of Nouredin, who had been expelled from his father's kingdom 
by Saladin, marched with a host of Persians. Of these two 
brothers, namely, Saladin and Saphadin, and their offspring, 
and the succession of their sons, little need be said for the 
elucidation of this history, except that they were pre-eminent 
in every science of paganism. Saladin, at his death, which 
Las been mentioned, left nine sons heirs to his kingdom, but 


Saphadin, his younger brother, slew all his nephews except 
one named Nouradin ; he held possession of Aleppo, with all 
the neighbouring cities, castles, towns, arid other fortified 
places, which were more, than two hundred in number. 
Saphadin, who made himself master of his brother's king- 
dom, and slew his nephews, had fifteen sons, seven of whom 
he made his heirs in the kingdoms which he had acquired bv 
murder. The first of the sons was named Melealim, and for 
his inheritance he had the government of Alexandria, Baby- 
lon, Cairo, Damietta, and Canisia, with the whole country of 
Egypt ; his son Coradin has Damascus, Jerusalem, and 
all the country of the Christians, containing above three 
hundred cities, fortifications, and castles, besides villages. 
His third son Melchiphais, holds the district called Gemella, 
with the whole of the province, in which there are more than 
four hundred cities, fortifications, and castles, besides vil- 
lages. His fourth son, Meiiemodain by name, has possession 
of the kingdom of Asia, which contains more than six hun- 
dred cities, fortifications and castles, besides villages. His 
fifth son Meehisemaphat, holds the country of Sarcho, where, 
Abel was killed ; this kingdom contains nine hundred and 
more places, including cities, fortifications, and castles, be- 
sides villages. His sixth son, named Machinoth, rules the 
country of Baldach, where resides the pope of the Saracens, 
called the caliph, and who is feared and reverenced in their 
law as the Roman pontiff is amongst ourselves : this priest 
can only be seen twice a month, when he goes forth with his 
disciples, whom he keeps like a pope or cardinal, to the 
mosque, where Mahomet the god of the Agarenes is said to 
be, and there, after he has bowed his head and made a prayer 
according to their law, all present before they go forth from 
the temple, eat and drink, after which he returns to hi> 
palace. That Mahomet is visited and worshipped there, as 
a Christian nation worships Christ crucified; moreover the 
city of Baldach, where Mahomet and the caliph are, is tin: 
capital of the nation of the Agarenes, as Rome is of Chris- 
tian nations. Saphadia'a seventh son, named Salaphat, lias 
no country for his inheritance, b t dwells with his brother 
Melealim, and is his standard-bearer ; and to the same Mele- 
alim, each of his brothers sends yearly a thousand Saracens, 
a hundred be/.ants, and two chargers well equipped. Sapha- 
din their father, when he used to visit his sons, came with hid 

132 ROGER OF WEMX)VER. [A.D. 1193. 

head covered with a red siik hood, and all his sons went to 
meet him bowing their heads four times to the earth, and 
kissed his feet; he then embraced and shook hands with 
them, and stayed with each of his sons three days once a year : 
each of his sons wore a ring with his father's likeness carved 
on it. And whenever this said Saphadin rode out, he did 
not show his face, except ten times in the year ; and when he 
received messengers from any prince, he received them in 
his palace by means of his armed attendants on the first day, 
on the second his answer was told them as occasion required, 
but he did not give them permission to approach him till the 
third day. His eight sons, according to their father's arrange- 
ment, live in the following manner : two of them have charge 
of the sepulchre of Christ, and to them are paid the offerings 
which are made at the sepulchre, which they divide between 
them ; their income is more than twenty thousand Saracens ; 
four other sons receive the duties arising from the Nile, and 
their incomes are worth more than forty thousand Saracens : 
the two other younger sons stand daily before Mahomet, and 
to them are paid the offerings which are made at the feet of 
the prophet, which are worth more than thirty thousand 
Saracens. Saphadin has fifteen wives, and the same number 
of heirs ; he is used to sleep with his wives each in turn, and 
when one of them is with child by him, he sleeps with her 
in the presence of all the rest ; and when any of those fifteen 
dies, he, according to the custom of their law, introduces 
another in her place. These people too have a written law 
given to them by Mahomet, which is called the Alcoran, and 
the commands of that book are kept by that impious race of 
people as inviolably as we Christians observe the text of the 

How John, the king's brother, wished to obtain the government of England. 

Whilst king Richard, as has been related, was detained by 
the emperor, earl John, his brother, hearing of his mis- 
fortune, and thinking he would not return, entered into a 
friendly alliance with Philip king of the French, and by 
that monarch's pernicious counsel, made arrangements to be 
crowned in his brother's place, but the English \\uth a 
laudable fidelity would not pormit it. 

A.D. 1194.] RELEASE OF RICHARD. 133 

How the king of the French endeavoured to seise on \ormttndy. 

Philip, the French king, now gave vent to his hatred 
against the king of tl.c English, and with a very large arrny 
invaded Normandy, sparing neither rank, sex, or age. Gil- 
bert de Wascuil sent lor the aforesaid king and treacherously 
surrendered Gisors to him, as had been agreed on between 
them. After this the said king, partly through treachery 
and partly by force, subdued all the Yexin of Normandy, and 
the county of Aumarle, as far as Dieppe and valley of Kuil, 
with the principal fortresses ; he also conquered the country 
of Hugh de Gournai, who with some others had surrendered 
to the French king. He moreover besieged Rouen, but by 
the valour of the earl of Leicester and the prowess of the 
inhabitants, he was driven from that city in confusion, and 
with loss of some of his troops. The said king also took 
the city of Evreux, and delivered it over to the guardianship 
of the said earl.* 

How the French king married the sister of the king of Denmark, and 
immediately divorced her. 

About this time the French king espoused the sister of the 
king of Denmark, named Ingelburg, a lady of remarkable 
beauty ; but after the marriage he divorced her and placed 
her amongst the nuns at Soissons, at the same time ordering 
all the Danes who had come with her to return to their own 
country. In this same year, Hubert Walter, bishop of Salis- 
bury, was canonically elected to the archbishopric of Canter- 
bury, and, on the day after the feast of St. Leonard, was 
installed in his see ; and to his care, by command of king 
Richard, was entrusted the kingdom of England and the ad- 
ministration of affairs there, Walter archbishop of Rouen, 
having been sent for by the king into Germany, whither he 
went accompanied also by Eleanor the king's mother, who 
was anxious to see her son. 

How king Richard teas released, and came to England. 

A.D. 1194. The greatest part of the ransom money having 
been paid, and hostages having been given as security for 
what remained unpaid, king Richard was, on the day of the 

* Earl John. 

134 nOGER OF WENDOVEH. [A.I). 119 J. 

blessed Mary's purification, sot free, and permitted to return 
to his kingdom. lie accordingly, with his mother and the 
chancellor, set out through the territory of the duke of Lou- 
vain, and readied the British channel, and on the Sunday 
after the feast of St. Gregory he arrived in England at the 
port of Sandwich, to the great joy of all classes. At the 
very hour in which the king with his attendants landed, 
which was the second hour of the day, when the sun was 
shining clearly, there appeared a brilliant and unusual splen- 
dor in the heavens, extending about the length and breadth 
of the hun an body from the sun, of a very bright white and 
red colour, as if a sort of rainbow ; and several people who 
saw this brightness declared that the king was about to 
arrive in England. Immediately on his arrival, the king set 
out for Canterbury to pay his devotions at the blessed 
Thomas's shrine ; from that place he went to London, and 
was received with the most joyous pomp, the whole city 
being profusely decorated and adorned against the king's 
arrival with every variety of ornament that Avealth could 
produce. When his arrival was known, nobles and com- 
moners alike went to meet him on the way with great eager- 
ness, being most anxious to see him returned from captivity 
who they had feared would never return.* The king 
stopped scarcely one day at Westminster before he started to 
St. Edmund's to return thanks ; and from thence he hurried 
to Nottingham to besiege and take, those who had conspired 
against him and joined earl John. The army of England 
had already taken every castl belonging to the before-named 
earl, with the exception of this one alone, which still held 
out and was bravely defended : but when the king laid siege 
to it, and had made one assault, the besieged were assured of 
his unhoped-for arrival, and surrendered the castle to him, 
placing themselves at the king's pleasure, and trusting to hi-! 
mercy; some of these he imprisoned, others he set free on 

* Matthew Paris adds: "On liis arrival at Westminster, ho was met 
by Geoffrey Hakcsalt, a servant of Warin ahhat of St. Alban's, with 
large gifts of gold and silver, sufficient not only to propitiate hut to re- 
joice the heart of the kintj's majesty. The king weighing liis good-will by 
his gifts, gave the ahhat abundant thanks as a friend and father who did 
not forget his son ; for he called the ahbat his dearest father on account of 
his great friendship. From that time their union was even closer than 
before, and the king favoured the abbat in every thing." 


receiving a fitting ransom, as he was greedily anxious after 
the money of each arid all of them in his then state of neces- 
sity. Two reasons principally urged him to take this course, 
which were, that he might release the hostages who had 
been given to the emperor for him, and that he, might get 
together a very large army against the king of the French, who 
was every where ravaging his dominions with fire and pil- 
lage. On this account, although he exacted money for his 
prisoners more greedily than was compatible with his kinglv 
dignity, yet it ought to be pardoned rather than throw a 
stain on the king on account of his necessities. 

How kitty Richard teas crowned, and immediately crossed the sea to 

After all his adversaries in Kngland were thus quickly sub 
dued, king Richard, by the advice of his nobles, although it 
could add but little to his renown, was crowned at Winches- 
ter in Kaster week; at which ceremony Hubert archbishop 
of Canterbury performed mass, and William king of Scots 
attended. Afterwards, at the feast of the saints Nereus and 
Achilles,* he embarked at Portsmouth and sailed to Nor- 
mandy, and on his arrival there he stopped that night at 
IJarnYur to rest; at that place his brother earl John came to 
him as a suppliant, and, with many of his soldiers, threw 
himself at the feet of the king, asking his brother's mercy 
with tears, and accusing himself for his folly in many re- 
spects. The king, affectionate as he was, could not refrain 
from tears, and pitying his brother's misfortunes, raised him 
from the ground and restored him to his former favour. 

If mr king Richard forced the kiny of the French to fly from Vcrncuil. 

King Richard being informed that the king of the French 
had laid siege to Verncuil, and had been employed for eight 
days unceasingly in erecting stone engines, in bringing up 
large, stones, undermining the walls, and harassing the be- 
sieged garrison, took his way to that place with all speed. 
The great day of Whitsuntide was at hand, and that the 
French might not have to boast of gaining a victory <>n that 
sacred day, they heard a little before dark that the Knglish 
king was prepared for battle, and would arrive at daybreak. 

l'2th May. 

136 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1194. 

The French were panic-struck by this report, as they nad 
often liad experience of the king's bravery: they therefore 
chose to fly rather than to fight, and retreated from their 
camp, to their eternal disgrace and infamy. 

How llcreltert the I'oor teas mad'.- bishop of Salisbury. 

About this same time, Herebert surnamed the Poor, arch- 
deacon of Canterbury, being canonically elected to tin? 
bishopric of Salisbury, was ordained a priest at Whitsuntide, 
and on the day after was consecrated a bishop by Hubert 
archbishop of Canterbury, at Westminter. At the same time 
the French king in his retreat from Verneuil, in order that 
he might not appear to have effected nothing, in his anger 
destroyed a little fort called Fountains, and thus with some- 
thing having the appearance of a victory he returned to his 
own dominions. 

Of the capture of Loches by king Richard. 

King Richard, after these events, came to Tours, and 
received two thousand marks of silver by way of presents, 
from the burgesses of Neufehatel, where the body of 
St. Martin reposes. lie then marched within the boundaries 
of Tours, and laid siege to the castle of Loches, which he 
took by storm after a few days; this castle the king of the 
French had received from the lieutenants of the English 
king, when the latter was a prisoner, as a kind of security 
that they would not break the treatv which had been made 
between the monarchs, and had given it, well stored with 
provisions, into the charge of fifteen knights and eighty 
soldiers. At this time the son of the king of Navarre came 
to assist the English king, with a large army, and having 
amongst his followers fifty arbalesters, besides a hundred 
others ; this prince laid waste the territory of Geoffrey de 
Kavenne, and that of the count of Angouleme. 

How king liichani drove the French kinij out of Touraine. 

At this time also Philip king of the French, entered the 
confines of Tours, and pitched his camp near Vindome ; but 
finding by means of his scouts that the; king of the English 
was marching upon him, he early in the morning struck hi-< 
camp and made all haste to Freitval ; but the king of th : 


English pursued him, and captured all his teams as well a.s 
those of the counts and barons fighting under him, and all 
their baggage ; he also took gold and silver, crossbows and 
tents, and other tilings innumerable, and brought them away 
with him. lie in this way crossed into Poictou, and within 
a few days had reduced to submission the castle of Taileburc 
and the country of his adversaries, namely, the count of 
Angouleme, and Geoffrey de Kavenne, so that there did not 
exist a single rebel against him from the castle of Verneuil 
to Charlecroix. 

How the French king endeavoured to impose on king Richard- 

About this time the French king sent four messengers to 
the king of the English, deceitfully making use of friendly 
speeches, to propose, that, in order to save the subjects of 
each, whose coffers they in their wars had emptied of gold and 
silver and to spare the efl'usion of the noble blood of each 
kingdom, the claims of both should be determined by a 
combat of live men on each side, the chiefs of each kingdom to 
await the issue of the combat, until after it was over they 
could adjudge what ought by right to fall to each king. 
This proposal pleased the English king beyond measure, 
provided that the French king should be the fifth man on his 
side ; and he, the English king, likewise be the fifth on 
the English side, and that they should preserve an equality 
in men and arms, and engage with equal odds ; this the king 
of the French to the scorn of many refused to agree to.* 
After this on the mediation of some religious men a truce 
was agreed on between the French and English kings, but 
ill intercourse of traders was forbidden on both sides. 

How king Richard established tournaments throughout England. 

At this time king Richard crossed to England and 
appointed tournaments to be held in certain places, being 
induced to do so perhaps for this reason, that the soldiers of 
the kingdom might meet from all quarters and prove their 

"This year also, Robert carl of Leicester was taken prisoner l>y the 
king of France and the count de 1'erclie. Henry Marshal, al:-o, brother of 
William Marshal the elder, was made bishop of Kxet-.-r." MutihfW 


strength by manoeuvring their horses in the ring, and thus 
be more nimble and practised for battle against the enemies 
of the cross, or even against their neighbours. At this time, 
too, one Alexius, son of Manuel, formerly emperor of Con- 
stantinople, assembled an army, and having made prisoner 
Cursac the present emperor, Avho had attacked him, he 
deprived him of his eyesight, and at length, after having 
en asculated him, condemned him to perpetual imprisonment 
and seized on his empire. 

How (he kinrj of the Knplish laid a complaint Before our lord the pope 
against the duke of Austria for imprisoning him. 

A.D. 1 195. King Richard sent messengers to the apostolic- 
see with instructions to lay the following complaint before our 
lord the pope. " Holy lather, our lord Richard king of the 
English salutes your excellency, and asks for justice to bo 
shown to him against the duke of Austria, who made prisoner 
of him when on his return from a toilsome pilgrimage, 
harassed him in a way not becoming so great a prince, and 
afterwards sold him as though he were a bull or an ass, to 
the emperor, after which the two of them consumed the 
substance of his kingdom by demanding an intolerable sum 
for his ransom. Moreover they, who were no strangers to 
the laws of Christianity, visited him with more severe judg- 
ments in such a case, than even Saladin would have done, if 
by a similar misfortune he had fallen into the hands of that 
infidel himself, to light against whom the said king had 
travelled from his territories, leaving his. lately acquired 
kingdom, his country, relations, and friends. He would 
perhaps know how to pay respect to the nobleness, valour, or 
majesty of a king, whom that barbarous and still-necked gene- 
ration did not know how to appreciate, but perhaps they did 
this that the capture of such a great prince might be attributed 
as a praiseworthy victory to them, although they would never 
have dared to seek him in open fight, had he been surrounded 
by his valiant army. And let them not think that the dis- 
grace of the king is to be imputed to them, but rather to the 
dispensation of God, at whose will the wheel of fortune, 
humbles one and exalts another, casts down one and raises 
up another. It also greatly vexes our lord the king, that, in 


a time of peace, and when your protection was granted to all 
pilgrims lor a period of three years, the same being enforced 
and confirmed on penalty of excommunication, they made a 
prisoner of him as he came from his pilgrimage, and \va- 
making arrangements to return again, and threw him inf. 
prison, compelling him to pay a heavy sum for his ransom. 
Alay your excellency therefore give orders for that duke to 
permit the hostages for our lord the king, who are as yet 
detained as prisoners for the portion of the ransom which 
remains unpaid, to depart free, and also for him to restore 
entire the money which he, the excommunicated man, has 
received from our lord, as well as make a fitting atonement 
for the injury inflicted on him and his subjects." 

Of the excommunication of the dnkc on account of king Richard. 

After the messengers of the king had pleaded these and 
many other complaints before the supreme pontiff; our lord 
the pope then rose with his cardinals and excommunicated 
the duke himself by name, and in general all those who had 
laid violent hands on the king and his men ; he also put the 
whole of the duke's territory under an interdict, giving orders 
to the bishop of Verona to publish this sentence of excom- 
munication throughout the whole duchy of Austria on every 
Sunday and feast-day, as follows: "That, if the said duke 
shall determine to obey our mandate?, you enjoin him by the 
virtue of God, to release the whole of the king of England's 
hostages, to cancel all agreements, and restore the property 
taken from them by him and his followers, as well as what 
he has received as an unjust ransom for the said king 
himself, and also shall send the said hostages in security to 
their own country, and for the future never venture on such 
things again, but make due compensation for the injury and 
wrongs inflicted. 

Of the wretched death of the duke of A tislria. 

All this was denounced against the duke by the bishop of 
Verona, but he persisted in contemning the apostolic man- 
date, at a time too when his country was struck bv an 
unheard-of sterility as well as by famine and disease; the 
river Danube, too, at this time overflowed unusuallv in some 
part of the country, and by that unexpected event ten 

140 ROGEU OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1195. 

thousand persons were drowned. But notwithstanding all 
these things the duke's anger was not averted, but rather 
was increased, and at length he himself was struck by a 
dreadful divine visitation ; for on St. Stephen's day as he 
was taking recreation on horseback with his attendants, the 
horse on which he rode kicked violently and inflicted an 
incurable wound with its foot on the leg of the rider, for 
immediately the leg and foot together turned black and rose 
to a swelling, which no physician's poulticing could reduce, 
and the duke was most unbearably tortured by the infernal 
lire, as it is called, in addition to the swelling. At length 
being unable to endure this torture he ordered his foot to be 
amputated, he himself at the same time taking an axe, every 
one else refusing with horror ; but he did not by this escape 
the agonies of pain, for by and by his thigh with the rest of 
liis body was eaten away by the same fire. At length, how- 
ever, he acknowledged the wicked crime which he had com- 
mitted out of malice against the king and his followers, and 
on the persuasion of the bishops who came to him, he 
gave up the hostages, and the remainder of the money due 
for the ransom of the king, and gave his word that he would 
also return what he had received, and promised henceforward 
to be obedient to the judgment of the church. The bishops 
on this seeing him in such a state of misery and suffering 
absolved him from the ban of excommunication, and admitted 
him to the communion of the faithful, after which he expired 
in dreadful agony. For a long while his body remained un- 
buried, until it swarmed with horrible worms, because his 
son refused to fulfil his father's command, but at length being 
forced to do so by his friends he released the hostages, and 
allowed them to return to their own country. 

How the emperor Henry, siiMued the kingdom of Apulia. 

About this time the emperor Henry obtained possession of 
the kingdom of Apulia and Sicily, Tancred, who had unjustly 
succeeded king William, l>eing dead ; for this same emperor 
had married king William's sister, and to her the kingdom of 
right belonged at her brother's death. 

Of the fearful invasion of Spain ly the Saracen*. 
At this time the king of Morocco, with thirty chiefs, and 

A.I). 1195.] DKATII OK AI5IIAT WAIU.V. 141 

an innumerable army of pagans, burst forth from Africa on 
Spain, to take possession of the king of Spain's territories, 
and ravaged .several other provinces with fire and pillage, 
sparing neither sex, rank, nor age, except those who gave 
themselves up to his anger: his army consisted of six million 
fighting men, and all Christendom was dreadfully alarmed at 
their unexpected invasion.* 

Of the dcittk of atiliat W<irin, ami (lie succession of John to the a/ifiru-t/. 

On the 29th of April in the same year Warin, abbat of the 
church of St. Alban's, died after having held that see for 
eleven years, eight months and eight days ; he was succeeded 
by John a monk of the same establishment, who was elected 
abbat on the 21st of August, and on the 30th of the same 
month received the benediction from Richard bishop of 

Of the legateship of Hubert archbishop of Canterbury. 

About the same time pope Caelestine wrote to all the 
prelates of England to this effect, " Caelestine, to our 
venerable brothers the archbishop of York, and all bishops, 
abbats, priors, and other appointed prelates of the churches 
throughout the kingdom of England, greeting &c. Since 
we by our commission are enjoined to provide for the 
pastoral care of all churches, AVC now, looking with the eye of 
our fatherly regard especially to the English church, have, for 
the safety of that establishment, by the common advice of our 
brethren, decreed, that our venerable brother Hubert arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, in whose merits, and virtue, wisdom, 
and learning, the whole church rejoices, shall take on himself 
the management of the legateship and perform at will all out- 
functions, to the honour of the church, and the peace and 
safety of the whole kingdom, throughout the whole of 

* Some of the MSS. give the paragraph as follows: " About this time 
the king of Morocco invaded Spain with thirty chieftains and six millions 
of pagans, as they have heen reckoned ; and when they had devastated the 
provinces of Spain, they heard that the pope proposed to call a general 
council and institute a crusade against them, to he led hy Richard the ina^- 
niticent king of England, whose fame had already tilled the Ka*t and 
caused alarm over great part of Africa. They had also heard of his 
imprisonment and delivery, and how lie had since compelled the king of 
France to yield. All the unbelievers therefore returned to their own 

142 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A D. 1195. 

England, without any privilege or exception to you or your 
church, brother archbishop, or to any other person. By the 
authority of these presents we therefore command all your 
community to pay all due reverence and honour to the said 
Hubert, as legate of the apostolic see." 

The pope's reproof to the kiny of the French for his divorce of his wife. 

At this time pope Celestine wrote amongst other things to 
the archbishop of Seine as follows, " Since we, in our bowels 
of affection, especially regard the king of the French, we 
have by our beloved son the subdeacon, a legate of the 
apostolic see sent especially for the purpose, required of the 
said king that he should treat with the affection of a husband 
his wife, whom he by evil counsel has put away from him, 
and not give ear to those persons, who consider it as gain 
to sow the seeds of hatred and discord between people when 
they can. Therefore we, by the advice of our brethren, 
entirely annul that sentence of divorce, which was passed con- 
trary to law, and by these our apostolic letters command and 
strictly enjoin your brotherhood, that, if the aforesaid king 
shall, during her life, wish to espouse another in her place, 
ye take care to forbid him from the same, by our apostolical 

The pope's bull to the bishops of J-Jnyland on behalf of the Jfofy L<unl. 

At this time pope Celestine wrote to Hubert, archbishop 
of Canterbury, and to his 'Suffragan priests, amongst other 
subjects on behalf of the Holy Land to the following pur- 
port: " My brethren, archbishops and bishops, to whom is 
entrusted the care of souls, make urgent and incessant prayers 
to God that you may induce the people, subject to your rule, 
to take the cross, and stir themselves to put to confusion the 
persecutors of Christianity, for as much as we hope, and you 
ought to hope also, that the Lord, by your preaching and 
prayers, will let down your net for a draught, and will arouse 
such men to the defence of the eastern land, by whose merits 
rather than their prowess in arms, God will arise and his 
enemies will be scattered, and those who hate him shall flee. 
before him. But we, in regard to those who undertake thi.s 
pilgrimage for the love of God, and endeavour to the utnm.-t 
of their power to fulfil it, by virtue of our o!!i v cntni te<i 

A.U. 1105.] THK I'Ol'K's HULL. 143 

to us by God's authority, grant the same remission of any 
penance imposed on tlicin by the priesthood, as our pmlece>- 
sors are known to have granted in their times ; namely, that 
those who shall undertake; the toils of this pilgrimage with a 
contrite heart and humble sprit, and shall set out on this 
journey as a penance for their sins shall, if they die in tin- 
faith, obtain full remission of their offences, and eternal life. 
Let their goods also from the time of their taking the cros., 
together with their families, be considered under the protec- 
tion of the church of Koine, and also of the archbishops and 
other prelates of the church ; and let there be no dispute as 
to the property they had peaceable possession of at the time 
of their taking the cross, until their return or death shall be 
known for certain, but let their goods in the mean time re- 
main untouched and undisturbed ; but those who have, for 
the assistance of that land, sent their property there, shall 
obtain pardon for their sins according to the jurisdiction of 
the bishops. But to you, brother archbishop, we have 
thought fit to entrust the labour of this work, commanding 
you to use your influence with our beloved son in Christ, the 
illustrious king of the English, who has arranged a truce for 
three years at the Holy Land, that he may send well-equip- 
ped knights and soldiers to defend that country. We also 
order you to traverse England, and by continual exhortations, 
by opportune and inopportune preaching, to urge the people 
to take the cross and journey to the country beyond sea, to 
defend the Holy Land."* 

* Matthew I'aris inserts here, " When these things reached the king's 
ears he was zealous in the work of the cross, and exhorted others, princi- 
pally those whom he had exalted in many ways, to be zealous also, as well 
for the sake of his soul aa tor the advancement of the cross and the salva- 
tion of their own souls. That he inijjht the more civilly reprove certain 
who were disobedient to these salutarv admonitions, he assumed the form 
of 11 preacher, and frequently repeated the advice to those around him. 

" About this time a remarkable circumstance happened to a rich and 

miserly Venetian, which w 
name was Vitalis ; and wl 
marriage, lie went into a 
the table. As he wande 
HITOWS readv, and intent 

think it worth while to insert in this place : his 
en lie was on the point of jjivinjj his daughter in 

^e forest near the sea to provide delicacies iVr 
d alone through the forest, with his bow and 
n taking venison, he suddenly fell into a pit fall 

which had been cunningly set for the lions, bears, and wolves, out ot which 
he found it impossible to escape, because the bottom of it was so wide and 
the mouth so narrow. Here he found two fierce animals, a lion and a 
serpent, which had also by accident fallen in ; and Vitalis M_,iiini; hiiikscit 

144 ROGEK OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1 19G. 

Of a treaty made between the kinys <>f France and England. 

A.D. 1196. King Richard spent Christmas at the city of 
Poictiers ; and after the feast of St. Hilary, Philip king of the 
French, and Richard king of the English, met at a conference at 
Louviers, where the following treaty was made between them. 
The king of the French quitted claim to king Richard and 
his heirs, of Isoudun with the appurtenances, and of all right 
which he had in Berry, Auvergne, and Gascony, and gave 
him quiet possession of the castle of Arches, and the counties 
of Auches and Au marie, and many other fortresses which 
the French monarch had seized on since his return from his 
pilgrimage to the Holy Land ; and the English king quitted 
claim to the king of the French of the castle of (lisors, and 
the whole of Norman Vexin ; and in order that all these 
terms might be ratified and confirmed, they mutually found 

with the cross, neither of them, though fierce and hungry, ventured to at- 
tack him. All that night he spent in this pit, crying anil moaning, and 
expecting with lamentations the approach of so base a death. A poor 
wood-cutter, passing by chance that way to collect faggots, heard his cries, 
which seemed to come from beneath the ground, and following the sound 
till he came to the pit's mouth, he looked in and called out, " Who is 
there ?" Vitalis sprang up, rejoiced 1 eyond measure, and eagerly replied, 
" It is I, VitalK a Venetian, who knowing nothing of these pit-falls, fell in, 
and shall be devoured by wild beasts, besides which 1 am dying of hunger 
and terror. There are two fierce animals here, a lion and a serpent, but, 
by God's protection and the sign of the cross, they have not yet hurt me, 
and it remains for you to save me, that I may afterwards show you mv 
gratitude. If you will save me, I will give you half of all my pro pert v, 
namely, five hundred talents ; for I am worth a thousand. 1 ' The poor man 
answered, " I will do as you request, if you will be as good as your word." 
Upon this Vitalis pledged himself on oath to do as he had promised. 
Whilst they were speaking, the lion by a bland movement of his tail, and 
the serpent by a gentle hissing, signified to the poor man their approbation, 
and semed to join in Vitalis's request to be delivered. The poor man im- 
mediately went home for a ladder and ropes, with which he returned and 
let the ladder down into the pit, without any one to help him. Imme- 
diately the lion and serpent, striving which should be first, mounted bv the 
rounds of the ladder and gave thanks to the poor man, crouching at his 
feet, for their deliverance. The wood-cutter, approaching Vitalis, kissed 
his hand, saying, '' Long live this hand ! I am glad to say that I have earned 
my bargain," ami with these words he conducted Vitalis until they came to 
a road with which he was acquainted. When they parted, the poor man 
asked when and where Vitalis would discharge his promise? " Within four 
days," said Vitalis. " in Venice, in my own palace, which is well known and 
easy to find." The countryman returned home to dinner, and as he was 
itting at table, the lion entered with a dead goat, as a present in return for 

A.D. 1190.] VIOLATION OF A TKKATY. 1 15 

sureties, and determined a penalty of fifteen thousand mark- 
of silver in case of a breach of the treaty by either jmrtv. 
But in course of time, after Richard hud received pcissessio:) 
of the above-mentioned places, the French king repented 
having made such a bargain, and collecting a large army In- 
laid siege to Aumarle ; on this the English king ordered a 
seizure to be made of all the goods and possessions wliieh 
were in his dominions belonging to the abbats of Marmontier, 
(Jluni, St. Denis, and Charite, who were the French king's 
securities on the above-named treaty, and had bound them- 
selves to pay the before-mentioned money to the king of the 
English if the former king should not stand to his agreement. 
In the meantime the French king took the castle of Au- 
inarle by assault and destroyed it, and the king of England 
gave him three thousand marks of silver of the above- 
mentioned money as a ransom for the knights of that garrison 
and their followers, that they might be permitted to depart, 
saving their horses and arms. Afterwards the king of the 
French took Nonancourt, and king Richard took the castle 
Gameges, and so the two kings played at castle-taking. 

his deliverance, and having laid it down, took his leave without doing any 
hurt. The countryman, however, wishing to see where so tame an animal 
Jay, followed him to his den, the lion all the time licking his feet, and then 
came back to his dinner. The serpent now came alao, and brought with 
him in his mouth a precious stone which he laid in the countryman's plate. 
The same proceedings again took place as before. After two or three days 
the rustic, carrying the jewel with him, went to Venice, to claim from Vitalis 
his promise. He found him feasting with his neighbours in joy for his 
deliverance and said to him, " Friend, pay me what you owe me." " Who 
art thou*' 1 replied Vitnlis, " and what dost thou want!" "I want the 
five hundred talents you promised me." " Do you expect," replied 
Vitalis, "to get so easily the money which I have had so much difficulty to 
amass i" and, as he said these words, he ordered his servants to cast the 
rash man into prison. But the rustic by a sudden spring escaped out of 
the house and told what had happened to the judges of the city. When, 
however, they were a little incredulous, he showed them the jewel which the 
serpent had given him, and immediately one of them, perceiving that it was 
of great value, Inrnght it of the man at a high price. Hut the countryman 
further proved the truth of his words by conducting some of the citizens to 
the dens of the lion and the serpent, when the animals again fawned on 
him as before. The judges were thus convinced of his truth, and com- 
pelled Vitalis to fulfil the promise which he had given, and to make com- 
pensation for the injury which he had done the poor man. This story was 
told by king Richard to expose the conduct of ungrateful men. 


146 HOGER OK WENDOVER. [-V.D. 1196. 

Of the death of William, formerly a citizen of London . 

At this time there arose in the city of London a dispute 
and difference between the rich and poor, about the allot- 
ment of the taxes to be paid into the exchequer, and which 
were often, as they said, unequally levied. The cause of 
this disagreement was William Fitz-O.sbert, who, in con- 
tempt of the king's majesty, convoked assemblies of people, 
and binding many to him by oath at their meetings, perse- 
cuted even unto death his own brother, and two other honest 
men, as if they were guilty of treason towards the king, and 
at last raised a sedition and disturbance in St. Paul's church. 
When at length he learned that for his crimes the anger of 
the king was seriously aroused against him, he shut himself 
up in a tower of a church, which was the especial property 
of the archbishop, thus making a castle of a sacred edifice. 
But seeing at length that a band of armed men were assembled, 
he, in order to avoid the death witli which he was menaced, set 
fire to the temple of the blessed virgin, and partly consumed a 
place consecrated to God. At last he was dragged forth from 
the church, and carried to the tower of London, where having 
received final sentence, in order that the punishment of one 
might strike terror into the many, he was deprived of his 
long garments, and, with his hands tied behind his back, 
and his feet fastened together, was drawn through the midst 
of the city by horses to the gallows at Tyburn ; he was 
there hung in chains, and nine of his fellow conspirators with 
him, in order to show that a similar punishment would await 
those who were guilty of a similar offence. On the twentieth 
of October* in the same year, John dean of Rouen was 
consecrated to the bishopric of Winchester. In this year, 
too, king Richard built a new castle in the isle of Andelys, 
against the wish of Walter archbishop of Rouen ; and after 
he had been repeatedly warned to desist from the under- 
taking, the aforesaid archbishop put the whole of Normandy 
under a ban, and thus went to the court of Rome.f 

* November. 

f " About this time there arose n dispute in the city of London between 
the poor and the rich on account of the talliage, which was exacted by the 
king's agent* for the benefit of the exchequer : for the principal men of the 
city, whom we call mayors and aldermen, having held a deliberation at their 
hustings, wished to preserve themselves free from the burden, and to oppress 


Of the capture of Hugh de Chaumont. 

In the same year a battle was fought between the fol- 
lowers of the French and English kings, in which Hugh de 
Chaumont, a great friend of the former monarch, was taken 
prisoner, and brought before the king of the English, who 
gave him into the custody of Robert de Kos ; that knight 
delivered him to the care of William d'Epinay, an attendant 
of his, owing to whose treachery he escaped, for he obtained 

the poorer classes. Wherefore William Fitz-Robert, surnamed ' with the 
heard,' because his ancestors in anger against the Normans never shaved, 
made opposition to the same, and called the mayors of the city traitors to 
our lord the king for the cause above-named ; and the disturbances were so 
great in the city that recourse was had to arms. William stirred up a 
large number of the middle and lower classes against the mayors and alder- 
men, but by their pusillanimity and cowardice the plans of William's con- 
federates in resisting the injury done them were dissipated and defeated: 
the middle and lower classes were repressed, and the king, his ministers, 
and the chief men of the city, charged the whole crime on William. As 
the king's party were about to arrest him, he, being a distinguished character 
in the city, tall of stature and of great personal strength, escaped, notwith- 
standing their exertions, defending himself with nothing but a knife, and 
flying into the church of St. Mary of the Arches, demanded the protection 
of our Lord, St. Mary and her church, saying that he had resisted an 
unjust decree for no other purpose than that all might bear an equal share 
of the public burden, and contribute according to their means. His expos- 
tulations, however, were not listened to, the majority prevailed, and the 
archbishop, to the surprise of many, ordered that he should be dragged 
from the church to take his trial, because he had created a sedition and 
made such a disturbance among the people of the city. When this was 
told to William, he took refuge in the tower of the church, for he knew 
that the mayors, whom he had contradicted, sought to takeaway his life. In 
their obstinacy they applied fire, and sacrilegiously burnt down great part of 
the church. Thus William was forced to leave the tower, almost suffocated 
with the heat and smoke. He was then seized, dragged out of the church, 
stripped, and, with his hands tied behind his back, conveyed away to the 
tower of London. Soon after, at the instigation of the archbishop, the 
principal citizens, and the king's ministers, he was taken from the Tower, 
and dragged, tied to a horse's tail, through the middle of London to L'lmet, 
a pitiable sight to the citizens and to his own respectable relations in the 
city: after which he was hung in chains on a gallows. Thus William of 
the Beard was shamefully put to death by his fellow citizens for asserting 
the truth and defending the cause of the poor: and if the justice of one's 
cause constitutes a martyr, we may surely set him down as one. With him 
also were hanged nine of his neighbours or of his family, who espoused his 
cause. The same year, John dean of Rouen, was made bishop of Worces- 
ter, and consecrated by the archbishop of Canterbury on the 30th of 
October.'' M. Paris. 


148 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [.V.D. 1190. 

the permission of the aforesaid William, ami let himself clown 
from the wall of the castle of Bonville, on the Tuke, where 
he was confined, and thus took his leave of them. The king 
of England was greatly enraged against Robert de Kos for 
this, and took from him a thousand two hundred marks of 
silver for his offence, and ordered William d'Epinay to he 
hung on a gibbet. 

Oj the capture ff the bishop of Bcauvais and William de Merle. 

After this event, as John, the king's brother, and Merca- 
deus prince of Brabant, were making an excursion before 
the city of Beauvais, intent on the capture of booty, Philip, 
the bishop of that place, and William de Merle, with his son 
and several knights and some soldiers, came out of the city 
on them, but were in a short time all taken prisoners, and a 
great number of the soldiers slain. The same day, after this 
capture, the same English nobles proceeded to Milli, a castle 
belonging to the before-named bisHop, took it by assault, and 
afterwards destroyed it, and then returned in triumph, and 
delivered all their captives to the English king ; the bishops, 
on account of being taken in arms, was imprisoned, and heavily 
loaded with chains.* In this same year a sudden and rapid 
inundation of the waters of the Seine involved the adjacent 
buildings both wood and stone in destruction, which greatly 
alarmed the king of the French, and Maurice the bishop of 
Perche, who were staying at Paris ; the king left his palace, 
and, taking his son Louis with him, went to pass the night 
at St. Genevieve, and the bishop fled to Saint Victor's. 

Of a visiun which teas seen by a certain monk, of ptiryatory and the placcj 
of punithment ; the reading of which is very useful. 

In those days a certain monk, belonging to the convent of 
Evesham, fell ill, and for fifteen months was afflicted with 

This affair is given rather more in detail by Matthew Paris, who con- 
cludes hi* narrative as follows: " The chapter of l$e;mvais laid :i grave 
complaint about the capture of their bishop and archdeacon before the 
pope, who wrote a friendly letter to king Richard, requesting him to set his 
dear son, and the son of the church, at liberty. The king, in respect 
towards the pope, ordered the bishop's coat of mail to be carried to his 
holiness, with a request that he would see whether it was his son's coat or 
not. To which the pope replied, ' He is no son of mine nor of the church; 
let him be ransomed at the king's pleasure, for he is a soldier of Mars 
rather than of Christ ! ' " 


grievous bodily pain, taking such a nausea of food and drii.k, 
that sometimes for nine days and more he would take, nothing 
but the least drop of cold water ; no skill of the physician 
could cure him, but whatever was offered him by any one by 
way of relieving him, had the contrary effect. Thus he lay 
languishing on his bed deprived altogether of bodily strength; 
he could not even move from the spot unless carried by the 
servants. As the day of our Lord's resurrection drew near, 
he began to feel easier, and walked about his cell leaning on 
his stick ; and at length on the night next preceding the 
day of our Lord's supper, he went leaning on his stick into 
the large hall, instigated by devotion, not knowing whether 
he was in the body or in the spirit, and there, whilst the 
assembled monks were paying their accustomed nightly de- 
votions to the Lord, he felt such an impression of the divine 
mercy and heavenly grace, that his own holy devotion 
seemed to exceed measure, and from the middle of that 
night to the sixth hour of the following day he could not 
restrain himself from tears and giving praise to God. lie 
then sent for two of the brotherhood, called by religious men 
' confessors,' one after the other, and there with tears and in 
all purity and contrition of heart, he made to each of them a 
confession of all his faults, even the smallest of them, whether 
against discipline or the commandments of God: he then 
asked for and obtained absolution ; and thus in devotion and 
giving praise to God he passed the whole day. 

lloic the same monk was found lying as if dead. 

On the following night he obtained a little sleep, and 
when the bell for matins rang, he rose from his couch and 
took his way to the church; but what happened there the 
following narrative will tell. On the morning of the follow- 
ing day, which was the day of the Preparation, when the 
brotherhood had risen to primes, and were crossing before 
the chapter-house on their way to the church, they beheld 
this same brother lying prostrate and with naked feet before 
the abbat's chair, where the brothers were accustomed to 
crave pardon, and with his face close to the ground as it' he 
was asking pardon of some one sitting before him : the 
brothers, astonished at this sight ran up, and, trying to raise 
him, they found him breathless and motionless, with his eyes v 

150 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1196. 

turned up, and the balls of the eyes and the nose wet with a 
quantity of blood. They all together cried out that he was 
dead, finding that he had lost all motion of the veins for a 
length of time ; but at length discovering that he breathed, 
although but slightly, they washed his neck, breast, and 
hands, with cold water. In the first place they saw him 
tremble slightly throughout his whole body, but he soon 
became quiet and remained without motion ; for a long time 
they were in doubt how to act, not knowing for certain 
whether he was dead or had got better ; at length, after a 
debate, they carried him into the infirmary, and placing him 
on a bed, appointed some persons to keep a careful watch 
over him ; they next applied plasters to his chest, and 
pricked the souls of his feet with needles, but could find no 
signs of life in him. In this manner, then, lying on his bed 
altogether motionless, he remained for two days, that is, 
from midnight of the Preparation, till midnight of the follow- 
ing sabbath ; but on the great sabbath, when the monks 
were-about to assemble for midnight mass, the eyelids of the 
aforesaid brother began to quiver slightly, and after a while 
a moisture, like tears, began to flow gently over his cheeks, 
and, as any one would lament in his sleep, he seemed to 
utter frequent sighs, and after a while he seemed to be 
uttering words in his throat with a deep though scarcely 
audible sound : at length as his breath by degrees returned, 
he began to call upon Saint Mary, saying, " O holy Mary ! 
O holy Mary ! for what crime am I deprived of joy so im- 
mense?" In this manner, often repeating these and other 
words, he made known to the bystanders his deprivation of 
some crreat joy. After this, as if awaking out of a deep 
sleep, he shook his head, and, weeping bitterly, he began to 
sob, his tears flowing unceasingly ; then, with his hands 
clasped and his fingers hitched together he raised himself 
suddenly to a sitting posture, and placing his head covered 
with his hands on his knees, he continued unceasingly, as he 
had begun, his lamentable moanings. After many entreaties 
bj the brethren that he would, after such a long fasting and 
suffering, take something to eat, he took a small piece of 
bread, and then continued awake in prayer ; on being asked 
if he expected to escape from his sickness, he answered, "I 
shall live long enough, because I have entirely recovered 


from rny weakness." On the night following, that is, of our 
Lord's resurrection, when the bell was ringing for matin.", 
he went to church without any support, and, what he had 
not done for eleven months before, entered the choir. On 
the day after, when his religious rites were duly performed, 
he was deemed worthy to be refreshed by a participation in 
the holy communion. 

How the aforesaid monk related the vision that he /tad seen. 

After this the same brother eagerly joined in the religious 
duties of the other monks ; and they earnestly entreated him 
to relate for their edification what had happened to him and 
all that he had seen in his sleep ; for they were convinced 
that many things had been shown him, by evident signs, and 
from having heard his words and beheld his unceasing lamen- 
tations when he awoke on the previous day. After putting 
them off for some time, they became urgent in their request, 
and at length with incessant tears and groans, choking his 
voice, he related the circumstances in order as follow : 
" When," said he, " I was, as you know, failing from severe 
and lengthened bodily infirmity, and was blessing God ver- 
bally and mentally, and was returning him thanks for deign- 
ing to chasten his unworthy servant with his fatherly rod, 
after I had given up all hope of recovery, I began, as much 
us I could, to prepare myself, in order that I might escape 
the punishments of the future state, as I was on the point of 
being called from the body. Whilst I was diligently thinking 
on these things, I fell into temptation to ask of God that 
he would in some manner deign to reveal to me what was 
the state of the life to come, and what was the condition after 
this life, of souls released from the body; that, by learning 
this, I might more clearly ascertain what I, who was about, as 
I thought, to depart this life shortly, had to hope for and what 
to fear, that I might thus gain as much as I could on God's 
affection, whilst I was wavering in this precarious state. 
Desiring, then, to be satisfied on this, I with incessant sup- 
plications kept invoking, at one time our Lord the Saviour 
of the world, at another time the glorious virgin, his mother, 
at another I called on all the elect people of God ; but it was 
especially through the intercession of the most pious and 
holy saint Nicholas the confessor, that I hope to gain the 

152 ROGER OF WENI>OVEK. [A.D. 1196. 

end of my pious request ; and behold, one night near the 
commencement of the Lent which we have just passed over, 
a* I was sleeping a little, there appeared to me a venerable 
and altogether comely personage, who in most pleasant words 
addressed me as follows : ' Most beloved son, great is your 
devotion in prayer, and great perseverance have you in your 
purpose, nor will the continual aim of your prayer be fruit- 
less through the clemency of the Redeemer ; henceforward 
be of calm mind, and continue devout in prayer, for without 
doubt you will soon attain the object of your petition.' 
Having thus spoken, the image of the speaker vanished and 
I awoke." 

How the same monk, as he was worshipping our Lord's cross, saic it 
become bloody. 

"But, although awake, I still kept this vision steadily in 
mind, and, after six weeks had passed, when on the night 
of our Lord's supper I had risen to matins, and received, as 
you remember, discipline at your hands, I felt in the midst 
of it such a sweetness of mind diffused over me, that on the 
day following I felt it most pleasant to weep incessantly, as 
with your own eyes you saw. On the next night after this, 
which was the Preparation, as the hour approached for 
rising to matins, I sank into a calm sleep ; then again I 
heard the same voice, but by whose agency it was conveyed to 
my ears, I know not ; 'Arise,' it said, 'go into the oratory, and 
approach the altar consecrated to the worship of St. Laurence, 
and behind that altar you will find the cross, which it is the 
custom of the convent to worship on the day of the Preparation ; 
for unless you do thus, nothing can be fulfilled by you on the 
morrow ; for a long journey remains to you ; wherefore, 
adore our Lord's cross in memory of himself, and offer the 
sacrifice of a humble and contrite heart, knowing for certain, 
that the offering of your devotion will be acceptable to the 
Lord, and that you shall hereafter rejoice abundantly in its 
richness.' After this I awoke from sleep, and proceeded, as 
it seemed to me, with the brethren, to hear matins ; which 
being commenced, I met in the vestibule of the church, an 
old man clothed in white garments, that one from whom, 
on the preceding night, I had received discipline. I then 
beckoned him by the usual nod to give me discipline, on which 
we went into the chapter-house, and after having effected 


my purpose, we returned to the oratory. I then went alone 
to the altar mentioned to me in my sleep, took off my alines, 
and crawling on my knees, made for the plaee where I had 
been told the cross of our Saviour would be found. As had 
been foretold to me, I found it there, and shortly I became 
entirely dissolved in tears, and throwing myself on the 
ground at full length, I most devoutly worshipped it ; as I 
was thus kneeling before the face of the image, and was 
kissing it on the mouth and eyes, I felt some drops falling 
gently on my forehead, and on removing my fingers, I, from 
their colour, discovered it to be blood ; moreover, I saw tin- 
blood flowing from the side of the image on the cross, as it 
does from a living man's veins when cut for letting blood. 
I. caught in my hand I know not how many drops as they 
fell, and with it I devoutly anointed my eyes, ears, and 
nostrils ; afterwards, if I sinned in this I know not, I 
swallowed one drop of it in my zeal, but the rest which I 
had caught in my hand I determined to keep. 

How the name monk was separated from the body, and entered the first 
place of punishment. 

" When I had thus worshipped our Lord's cross, I, after a 
time, heard behind me the voice of the venerable man from 
whom, on the preceding night, I had received discipline. 
Then, leaving my shoes and staff near the altar, I know not 
how, I went to the chapter-house, and after receiving dis- 
cipline, six several times, as I had done before, I received 
absolution. This same old man was seated in the abbat's 
chair, and I prostrated myself before him, but he approached 
me, saying these words only, ' Follow me.' After he had 
raised me up, he took hold of my right hand firmly, yet 
gently, and we remained all the time with our hands linked 
together, and at that time I was deprived of all sense of 
body and mind. We then walked on a smooth road, 
straight towards the east, until we arrived in a larsre 
tract of country, dreadful to look at, in a marshy situation. 
and deformed with hard thickened mud. In this place were 
such a multitude of men, or spirits, that no one could count 
them, who were exposed to various and unmentionable tor- 
tures ; in this place was a great crowd of both sexes, of 
every condition, profession, and rank, and all kinds of sin- 
ners condemned to torments according to the variety of their 

154 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1196. 

professions, and the degrees of their offences. Throughout 
the broad extent of that plain, beyond the extremities of 
which no eye-sight could reach, I saw and heard crowds of 
wretched beings collected in miserable troops, and bound 
in flocks according to the similarity of their crimes and 
professions, whilst they all were equally burning, though 
their cries were different. Whatsoever people I saw, and 
for whatsoever sins they were punished, I noticed clearly 
both the nature of their sin, and the degree of their punish- 
ment, whereby, atoning for their crimes, or by the inter- 
cession of others, they might in that place of exile and punish- 
ment, earn admission into the heavenly country. But some 
I saw endure more severe torments with a calm mind, and, 
as if conscious of a reward laid up for them, thinking lightly 
of the horrible agonies they endured. Some I beheld leap 
suddenly forth from their place of torture, and make their 
way as fast as they could to the extremities of the place : 
and when they, dreadfully burned as they were, were 
emerging from the pits, the torturers ran to them with forks, 
torches, and every sort of instrument of torture, and restored 
them back to their punishments again, to inflict every kind of 
cruelty on them ; nevertheless, though thus wounded, thus 
burned, and pierced to the heart by their lashes, they at 
length came forth, always going in regular gradation from 
the most severe to more tolerable sufferings ; for some of the 
most atrocious there remained a most horrible death, without 
proceeding to more severe tortures : each of them was 
treated according as they were benefited or impeded by their 
former actions, or by the good works of their friends. 
Endless were the kinds of punishment whieh I saw ; some 
were roasted before fire ; others were fried in pans ; red hot 
nails were driven into some to their bones ; others were 
tortured with a horrid stench in baths of pitch and sulphur, 
mixed with molten lead, brass, and other kinds of metal ; 
immense worms with poisonous teeth gnawed some ; others, 
in thick ranks, were transfixed on stakes with fiery thorns ; 
the torturers tore them with their nails, flogged them with 
dreadful scourges, and lacerated them in dreadful agonies. 
I saw in that place many who were known to me, and who 
had been intimate with me in this life, tortured in various 
ways, some of whom were bishops, some abbats, and some of 


other stations ; some in the ecclesiastic;, some in the secular v 
forum, some in the cloister. I saw all these; and the less 
that they were in their former life supported by the privi- 
leges of honour, the more lenient were the punishments 
inflicted on them there. As a truth 1 now tell what I par- 
ticularly noticed, which was that all those whom I knew to 
have been the judges of others or prelates in this life, wen- 
tormented more than the rest with an increased degree of 
severity. It would be too tedious for me to speak of what 
they severally received as their deserts, or what they suf- 
fered, however conspicuous all things were to me ; but ( Jod is 
my witness, that if I saw any one, even had he slain all my 
friends and relatives, condemned to such torture, I would, 
were it possible, endure a temporal death a thousand times 
to snatch him from them, especially since all things which 
are there penal, exceed all measure of pain, bitterness, and 

Of the second place of punishment in purgatory, and (he variety of 

"After we had gone beyond this place of punishment, I and 
my guide passed onwards unhurt, as we did also other places 
of'torment, which 1 shall relate below. After this then we 
arrived at another place of torment ; the two places were 
separated by a mountain almost touching the clouds, over 
the top of which we passed easily and quickly. Under the 
farther side of this mountain was a very deep and dark 
valley, girt round on either side by ridges of lofty rocks, over 
which the sight could not extend ; the bottom of the valley 
itself contained a piece of water, whether flowing or stag- 
nant I know not, very wide and dreadful, owing to its 
stinking water, which continually sent forth a vapour of 
intolerable odour. The side of the mountain overhanging 
one part of the lake sent forth lire to the heavens ; on the 
opposite promontory of the same hill there was such an 
intense cold, caused by snow, hail, and raging storms, that 1 
thought I had never before seen anything more torturing than 
the cold at that place. The region of the above-mentioned 
valley, and the sides ot both mountains, which bore this 
dreadful appearance of heat and cold, were occupied by a 
crowd of spirits, as numerous as bees at the time of swarm- 
ing ; and their punishment in general was at. one time to be 

156 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A. D. 1196. 

dipped in the foetid lake ; at another, breaking forth from 
thence, they were devoured by the volumes of flame which 
met them, and at length, in fluctuating balls of lire, as if 
sparks from a furnace were tossed on high, and fell to the 
bottom of the other bank ; they were again restored to the 
whirlings of the winds, the cold of the snow, and the 
asperity of the hail ; then, thrown forth from thence, and aa 
if flying from the violence of the storms, they were again 
thrust back into the stench of the lake, and the burnings of 
the raging fire. Some were tortured by the cold, some by 
the heat, for a long time, and some were kept for a long 
period in the stink of the lake. I saw others, like olives in 
a press, pressed and jammed together in the midst of the 
flames so incessantly, that it is horrible to relate. Of all 
those then who were there tortured, the condition was this, 
that for the fulfilment of their purification they were com- 
pelled to pass through the whole surface of that lake from 
the beginning to the end. There was, however, a very 
great and manifold distinction amongst those who were 
tortured in this place, for some of them were allowed an easy 
and quick transit, according to their merits, and the assist- 
ance rendered to them after their death; whilst those guilty 
of greater crimes, or less assisted by the masses of their 
friends, were punished more severely and for a longer time : 
but to all of them, the nearer they approached the end of the 
lake the less severe was the torture remaining to be endured, 
for those who were placed at the beginning, felt the puni>ii- 
ment most severely, although all did not suffer alike ; and 
the lightest torments of that place were more cruel than t In- 
most severe ones of the place we saw before. In this place 
of punishment I found and recognised many more acquaint- 
ances than I had seen in the first purgatory, and with some 
indeed I conversed. Amongst them 1 recognized a certain 
goldsmith who had been well known to me in life : but my 
guide, seeing me look at him earnestly, inquired if I knew 
him, and on his learning that he had been well known to me, 
he said, " If you know him, speak to him." But the spirit 
looking at us, and recogni/ing us witli a gesture of unspeak- 
able delight, gave praise to the man, my guide, and with 
out-stretched hands, and by a frequent bending of the whole 
/ of its body, worshipped him, and making obeisance, thanked 

A.I). 119(5.] VISIONS OF rUKUATORY. 157 

him much for kindnesses conferred on him. As he frequently 
cried out, 'Holy Nicholas, have pity on me,' I was pleased 
to recognixc tin; name of my dear protector, St. Nicholas, 
from whom I hoped to obtain salvation both of body and 
.soul. On my then asking the goldsmith how he had thus 
quickly gone through the cruel torments J had seen him 
suffering, he answered, 'You, my friend,' said he, 'and all 
my acquaintances, who, during my life, saw that all the 
supports of the Christian faith were denied me, such as con- 
fession and the viaticum, considered me a lost man, not 
knowing the mercy of my lord, who is with me, namely, 
St. Nicholas, who did not suffer me, his unhappy servant, to 
undergo the death of everlasting damnation; for now and 
ever, since I have been consigned to this place of punish- 
ment, when I was suffering under a severe torture, I have 
been refreshed by the visitation of his compassion. For in 
gold working, in which art I, in my life-time, committed 
many frauds, I now make most severe atonement, since I am 
frequently thrown into a heap of burning money, and most 
intolerably scorched ; being often compelled to swallow with 
gaping mouth those very coins, which consume my internal 
parts ; and moreover, am often obliged to count these coins, 
and feel my hands and fingers consumed and burned by 
them.' I then asked him, if men could by any remedy 
avoid such a dreadful torture ; to which he replied with a 
sigh, 'If men were daily to write with the finger on their 
foreheads and on the parts near their heart, "Jesus of 
Nazareth, king of the Jews," those of the faith would doubt- 
lessly be preserved harmless, and, after their death, those very 
places would slu'ne with a bright splendour.' These and 
many other things I heard from him ; but let us hasten to 
describe other things, and let what has been said suffice. 

Of the third place of punishment, and the manifoki variety of torments. 

" I and my guide, then, having left this truly called valley 
of tears which we got to in the second place, we arrived at :i 
large plain situated low down in the bosom of the earth, and 
which seemed inaccessible to all except to torturing devil.-;, 
and tortured spirits. The surface of that plain was covered 
by a great and horrible chaos, mixed with a sulphureous 
smoke, and a cloud of intolerable stench, with a flame of a 

158 ROGER OF WEtfDOVER. [x.D. 1196. 

pitchy blackness, and this rising from all directions was 
diffused in a dreadful way, through the whole of that void 
space. The surface of the place abounded with a multitude 
of worms in the same way as the court-yards of houses are 
covered with rushes ; and these, dreadful beyond conception, 
of a monstrous size and deformed, with a dreadful gaping of 
their jaws, and exhaling execrable fire from their nostrils, 
lacerated the crowds of wretched beings with a voracity not 
to be escaped from ; and the devils running in all directions, 
raging like mad creatures, took the wretched beings and at 
one time were cutting them up piece by piece with their 
tiery prongs, at another time were tearing all their flesh off 
to the bone, at another time threw them into the h're, melted 
them like metals, and restored them in the shape of burning 
flame. Little it is, I call God to witness, yea nothing, that I 
recollect of the punishments of that place ; for God knows 
that, in a very brief space of time I saw those wretched 
beings destroyed by a hundred or more different kinds of 
torture, and soon afterwards restored again, and again 
reduced almost to nothing, and then again renewed ; for a 
lost life caused them to be tortured in that place, and owing 
to the different kinds of punishment there was no end to 
their sufferings. For the flame of that fire was so devouring, 
that you would think an ordinary fire or fever to be luke- 
warm in comparison with it ; dead worms torn in pieces were 
collected in heaps beneath the wretches, filling every thing 
with an intolerable stench which surpassed all other suffering. 
The most loathsome and severe of all remains yet to be told ; 
for all who were punished there had, in their life, been guilty 
of wickedness which is unmentionable by a Christian, or 
even by a heathen or a pagan. Those therefore were con- 
tinually attacked by huge monsters of a fiery appearance and 
horrible beyond description, which, notwithstanding their 
opposition, committed on them the damnable crimes of which 
they had been guilty on earth ; and their cries were horrid 
until they fainted apparently dead, when they again revived 
to be exposed to fresh torments. I tremble while relating it, 
and am beyond measure confounded at the filthiness of their 
crime, for till that time I had never heard or thought that 
both sexes could have been corrupted by such filthiness, and, 
oh shame ! such an innumerable crowd of such wretches as 


was there found most pitiably to be pitied. The figures of 
many in that place I neither saw nor ret-o^ni/ed, for I was 
overcome with horror by the enormity of the torments and 
obscenity, and by the filthy stench ; so that it was beyond 
measure offensive to me either to stop there a moment, or to 
look at what was being done there. Lastly amid the dread- 
ful din one of them cried out, 'Alas! why did I not repent?' 
so loud was their grief that you would have thought all the 
sufferers in the world were there lamenting. 

Of a certain lawyer and his punishments. 

" Although I avoided as much as I could to look at what 
was passing there, I could not escape seeing a certain clerk, 
whom I had once known ; he, in his life, was considered a 
most skilful man, of those who are styled lawyers and 
deeretalists, wherefore in ecclesiastical revenues he was every 
day getting richer than the rest. I was astonished at the 
weight of his sufferings, and on my asking whether he 
expected to obtain mercy at all, he answered, crying out, 
'Alas, alas, woe is me, I know, I know that I shall not receive 
mercy this side of the day of judgment, and even then I 
think it is uncertain, for ever since I have been subjected to 
these sufferings, my punishment grows worse, dragging me 
on from bad to worse.' I said to him, ' Why then did you 
not at the last confess your sins and repent.' He answered, 
Because I had hopes of recovering, the devil beguiling me, 1 
was ashamed to confess such disgraceful crimes, lest I should 
seem to be unrespected by them to whom I appeared 
renowned and noble. Some of my slighter offences 1 did 
however confess to the priest, and on his asking me, if I was 
conscious of any other sins, I asked him to leave me then, 
promising to let him know again if any should occur to my 
memory. When he had departed, and had gone a little way, 
I felt myself dying ; and when he was fetched back by my 
servants he found that I was dead. Therefore none of the 
thousand kinds of torments which I daily endure, torture* 
me so much as the recollection of my fault, because I am 
actually compelled to be. a slave to the baseness of my 
former weakness, for besides the greatness of this unspeak- 
able punishment, 1 am oppressed with intolerable sliame, 
when 1 appear as one to be execrated for such great offences." 

160 ROGER OK WENDOVER. [A.D. 1196. 

At the moment he was thus speaking to me, I saw him 
tortured in numberless ways, and in the midst of them to be 
reduced as it were to nothing, and to be dissolved by the 
force of the heat like melted lead. I also asked St. Nicholas, 
who stood by me, if such torments could be alleviated by 
any kind of remedy ; and he answered ' When the day of 
judgment arrives, then will be accomplished the will of 
Christ, for he alone knows the hearts of all, and then he- 
will afford to all a just retribution.' Afterwards when I had 
returned to the body, that priest, to whom the lawyer had 
confessed only his light offences, came to me, and called God 
to witness in the presence of many, that what I said was 
true, since no one but himself knew these things. Of the 
punishments of many, which I saw, I omit to make mention, 
fearing lest, if I should speak further of them, I should 
create a loathing in my readers, but let these few chosen 
from the many suffice. 

Of the vision which llie name monk saw of the eternal glory of the blessed. 

'' Having thus in part described the things which we saw of 
the punishment and penal places of the wretched, it now 
remains for us to speak of the consolations of those at rest, 
and of the eternal glory of the blessed, which we beheld with 
our own eyes. After we had walked for a long time, amidst 
the different kinds of punishment which I have mentioned 
above, and had beheld the various sufferings of the wretched, 
as we made our way towards the inner regions, the light 
began by degrees to appear more pleasant ; here the fragrance 
of a sweet odour, there the richness of a plain flourishing 
with many kinds of flowers afforded us incredible pleasure. 
In this plain we found endless thousands of men or spirits 
who, after passing through their punishments, were enjoying 
the happy rest of the blessed. Those win m we found in the 
first portion of this plain, had garments white indeed, but 
not shining, but there did not appear any blackness or stain 
in them, although they shone in an inferior degree of white- 
ness. Amongst these I saw several who had been known to 
me formerly, for I recognized there a certain abbess who 
had lately come from the places of punishment, who was 
clothed in garments unstained, though not very bright ; I 
also saw and recognized there a certain prior who after being 


freed from all punishment was rejoicing in happy peace with 
the spirits of the just, in sure hope of the divine vision with 
which he wa.s about to be rewarded. In that same place too 
I saw a priest, who having been possessed of the grace of 
preaching united to the example of a good life, had 
reclaimed from deadly sin the people not only of the parishes 
of which he had the pastoral care, but also those who were 
at a distance from him, and by the Lord's co-operation, an 
inexpressible glory rested on many by his means as on him- 

Of the second place of rest, and the glory of those dwelling there. 

" As we proceeded from thence to the interior of this region 
of sweetness, the clearness of the light and the sweetness of 
the odour smiled on us more. But all whom this place con- 
tained were enrolled as inhabitants of the Upper .Jerusalem, 
who had passed through all their punishments so easily, since 
they had been less ensnared by the vices of the world. And 
what we saw as we went on, the tongue cannot reveal or human 
weakness worthily describe ; for who by words could worthily 
explain how, in the midst of blessed spirits of whom endless 
thousands stood round, as if present at the sacred solemnity 
of our Lord's passion, himself the pious Redeemer of tin; 
human race appeared as it were hanging on the cross, with 
his whole body bloody from scourgings, insulted by spitting, 
crowned with thorns, with nails driven into him, pierced 
with the lance, while streams of blood flowed over his hands 
and feet, and blood and water dropped from his holy side ! 
Near him stood his mother, not anxious and sorrowful now, 
but rejoicing and looking with a most calm countenance on 
such an indescribable sight. Can any one indeed imagine 
with what eagerness all ran together to this spectacle, what 
devotion there was amongst those who beheld it, what a con- 
course of worshippers there was, how many were their 
indications of thanks for such great kindness? As I thought 
more profoundly of these things I know not whether it was 
grief or devotion which distracted my unhappy mind, but 
astonishment and admiration deprived me of sense. But what 
devotion is it, that the devil should be conquered by this 
contumely, and hell be defeated and robbed of its weapons 
and spoils, the lost man be recovered, and the prey of devil.* 



be snatched from their infernal prison-houae and placed in 
heaven amongst the choir of angels? Many tilings, which I 
saw and heard here, I fear to relate, lest they should appear 
unusual and incredible to many. At length, after a length of 
time spent in looking at this blessed vision, the vision itself 
suddenly disappeared ; and in the hallowed place, where the 
glory of such a mystery had existed, they all returned with 
delight, each to his appointed place, and I followed my guide, 
full of admiration, to the inner regions into the abodes of the 
blessed ; here was the brightness of those assembled, here 
the fragrance of sweet smell, here the harmony of those 
singing praises to God. 

Of the third place of happiness and the v'lxions of Cod. 

''After proceeding for some distance, and as the pleasantness 
of the places before us increased, I saw what appeared a wall 
of crystal, which was so high that no one could look over it, 
and to the extent of which there was no end, and on our 
approaching it, I saw it glittered with a most shining bright- 
ness from within, I also saw the entrance to it open, but 
marked v/ith the protecting sign of the cross ; thither ap- 
proached crowds of those who being near were very 
anxious to enter, and the cross in the middle of the gate now 
raising itself on high, opened an entrance to those who 
approached ; afterwards, falling again, it denied admittance to 
those who wished to enter. How joyfully those who were 
admitted went in, or how reverently those who remained 
shut out waited for the next raising of the cross, I can- 
not describe. Here my guide stopped with me some time, 
but as w; at length went forward the cross was raised and 
the entrance was opened for us to enter ; my companion 
entered without hindrance, and I was following, when on a 
sudden the cross descended upon our hands and was about to 
prevent me from following my guide ; on seeing which I was 
in great alarm, but heard these words proceed from him, 
'Fear not,' said he, 'only put your trust in the Lord and 
enter in safety;' on this my confidence returned, and when 
the cross granted an entrance I went in. But how glittering 
was the inconceivable brightness, or how strong was the 
light which filled all those places, let no one ask of me, for 
this I am not able to express in words, uor even to recollect 


in raj inind. That soft and glittering splendour so dazxled 
my eyes, that I could think of nothing to be compared to it 
which I had ever seen before; for that brightness, incon- 
ceivable as it was, did not blind the eye-sight, but rather 
sharpened it ; and as I looked on it, nothing else met rny 
sight than the light and the wall of crystal before mentioned. 
Moreover from the bottom to the top of it steps of a wonder- 
ful beauty were arranged, by means of which the crowds of 
rejoicing spirits ascended as soon as they were let in at the 
door; there was no toil to those who went up, no difficulty, 
and no delay in the ascent, for the step above was always 
ascended more easily than the one below had been. And 
when I directed my eyes above, I beheld, sitting on a throne 
of glory, our Lord and Saviour in human form, and, as it 
seemed to me, the spirits of five or seven hundred blessed 
beings, who had lately ascended by the before-mentioned 
road to the place of the throne, coining round him in a circle, 
and with signs of thanksgiving worshipping him. But it 
was most evident to me, that the place which I saw was not 
the heaven of heavens, where the Lord of lords will appear 
in Sion, as if he were in his majesty ; but that from thence, 
after all difficulty and delay is removed, spirits ascend to 
that heaven which is blessed by the presence of the eternal 
Deity. In this vision, however, I conceived in my mind so 
much delight and joy, so much happiness and exultation, that 
whatever can be explained by human ingenuity would fail to 
express the delight of my heart which I there felt. 

How the said monk was restored to his body. 

" After I had seen and heard these and numberless 
other things, St. Nicholas briefly spoke to me, ' Lo! my son,' 
said he, ' thou hast now as thou wishedst, as far as was 
possible for thec, in part beheld the condition of the life to 
come, the dangers of sinners, the punishment of the wicked, 
the rest, of the purified, the joys of those who at length 
reach the court of heaven, and the mysteries of our Lord's 
suffering. You must now return to your mortal struggles ; 
but you will receive, if you persevere in the fear of (}<>d, the 
things which you have with your own eye* beheld, and 
much greater than these, if you endeavour with an immacu- 
late body and innocent heart to await tin. 1 day of your hist 

M 2 

164 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1197. 

calling.' Whilst he was thus speaking to me, I suddenly 
heard a note of wondrous sweetness, as if the bells of all the 
world, or everything that is musical, were all sounding 
together. In this sound there was a wonderful sweetness 
and a various mixture of melody, and I know not whether it 
was most to be admired for its grandeur or its sweetness. 
Whilst I was anxiously listening to such an unusual sound, 
and had lost my recollection, I found myself, as soon as it 
ceased, deprived of the eompany of my guide; and the 
strength of my body returning, and my eyes being restored to 
the faculty of sight, the pain of my former sickness was 
destroyed ; and being altogether freed from my weakness, I 
sat amongst you strong and healthy, although anxious and 
sorrowful. Being therefore restored to myself, as soon as I 
heard from the brothers that the festival of Easter was 
approaching, I considered that the music I had heard was a 
sign, that even amongst the inhabitants of heaven the mystery 
of the salvation of the human race is observed with joy and 
festivity by the inhabitants of heaven, even as it was wrought 
on earth by Him who created the world and the heavens out 
of nothing, Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with the Father 
and the Holy Spirit, be all honour and glory world without 
end. Amen." 

Of ffie death of Henry king of Jerusalem. 

At this same time Henry of Champagne, who had suc- 
ceeded Guy as king of Jerusalem, fell from the upper window 
of a house into the street, and, breaking his neck, was killed; 
he was a nephew of the kings of France and England, 1'hilip 
and Richard, being a son of tlie daughter of Louis king of the 
French, Philip's father, whom he had by Eleanor, his queen, 
afterwards married to king Henry, father of king Richard. 
When therefore the above-named king died, the condition of 
the Holy Land necessarily required a new one ; on which, by 
the unanimous consent of the priests and people, the election 
fell on an illustrious Frenchman, John de Brienne, a man 
well skilled in warfare, who was at once crowned king, and 
under his rule the affairs of the kingdom prospered. 

King Richard sent messengers to Rome to complain of tfte archbishop cf 

A.D. 1197. King Richard was at Bure, in Normandy, 


and was in great trouble because the archbishop of Rouen 
had placed Normandy under an interdict, for the bodies of 
the dead were lying unburied in the squares and streets of the 
cities, which caused a great stench amongst the living. He 
therefore sent William bishop of Ely, his chancellor, with the 
bishops of Durham and Li.-sieux, to the court of Rome, to 
plead his cause against the said archbishop ; but William 
bishop of Ely died on his way to Rome, at Poictiers, and 
was buried in the Cistercian convent of Dispin, on the L'Dth 
of January. The before-named bishops, however, his com- 
panions, proceeded on their journey and arrived at Rome. 
When the parties were convened in presence of our lord the 
pope, and had been heard carefully, our lord the pope and his 
cardinals after long deliberation, considering the damage and 
trouble which might accrue to the king in Normandy unless 
that castle was built in Andelys, advised the archbishop to 
come to an amicable arrangement with their lord the king, 
and to accept from him an adequate compensation in the 
estimation of wise men for what he had lost;* for they 
declared that it was quite lawful for any one who was able to 
do so, like the king of England, to strengthen the weaker parts 
of his kingdom that he might not suffer any loss or injury 
therefrom. With these terms of peace the messengers of 
both parties returned, and procured a reversion of the 
sentence of interdict. 

Form of the agreement which was made between king Richard and the 
archbishop of Rouen. 

The form of peace and agreement made between the king 
of England and the archbishop of Rouen was as follows : 
" Richard, by the grace of God, king of England, &c. 
Since the holy church is the spouse of the Eternal King, 
and the only beloved of Him by whom kings do reign and 
princes hold their authority, we wish to pay it the more 
reverence and devotion, the more firm we are in our belief 
that not only the kingly but all power is from the Lord 
God ; wherefore, as the holy church of Rouen, which is 

* "For the village of Andelys and some adjoining places, which tho 
king had taken from the archbishop, that he might strengthen tiu weak 
points of his territories, he gave the archbishop in exchange all the royal 
mills at Rouen with their appurtenances, the villages of Dieppe und Duct-lea 
with all their liberties." Matthew Paris. 


known to be most celebrated amongst all our dominions, 
deems it meet carefully to consult our interests according to 
the necessities of time and other circumstances, so we have 
thought fit to pay a meet compensation for the advantage and 
increase of the same church, our mother. Since the town of 
Andelys and some other adjacent places, which belonged to 
the church of Rouen, were not sufficiently fortified, and 
there was a way of ingress opened to our enemies into our 
country of Normandy, through those same places, by means 
of which they sometimes insultingly assailed the same 
country with fire and rapine, and other cruelties of warfare. 
Wherefore, the right worshipful Walter our father, the 
archbishop and the chapter of Rouen, having due regard 
to our losses in the before-named country, an exchange has 
been made between the church of Rouen and archbishop 
Walter of the one part, and ourselves of the other part, con- 
cerning the manor of Andelys, as follows : to wit, that the 
said archbishop, with the consent and by the wish of our 
lord the pope, Celestine the third, and with the consent of the 
chapter of the church of Rouen, hath granted, and for ever 
quit-claimed to us and our heirs, the aforesaid manor of Andelys, 
with the new castle of ' the Rock,' the forest, and all other its 
appurtenances and liberties, except the churches and the 
necessaries for soldiers, and except the manor of Freisnas, 
with its appurtenances, all which the said archbishop retains, 
the church of Rouen, himself and his heirs, with all their 
liberties and free customs, and in all their entirety for ever. 
But in exchange for the aforesaid manor of Andelys with 
its appurtenances, we have granted, and for ever quit- 
claimed to the church of Rouen, the aforesaid archbishop and 
his successors, all the mills which we possessed at Rouen 
when this exchange was made, together with all appurte- 
nances and grinding instruments, without any reserve of the 
things which appertain to the mill or to grinding, and with 
all liberties and free customs which they are accustomed or 
ought to have ; and it shall not be lawful for any one to 
build a mill at that place, to the detriment of the mills afore- 
said. We have, moreover, also granted to them the towns ot 
Dieppe and Buceles, with their appurtenances and liberties, 
also the manor of Loures, and the forest of Haliermunt, with 
the wild beasts and all other its appurtenances and liberties. 


And the church of Rouen and the aforesaid archbishop, 
and his successors will hold all these places in exchange for 
the aforesaid manor of Andeleys for ever, as witness these 

names * This exchange has been effected at Rouen 

in the year of grace 1197, and in the eighth year of our 

I low kiny Richard carried the body of St. Valery to Normandy, and there 
burned several ships. 

At this time a hint was given to king Richard that ships 
were in the habit of coming from England to St. Valery to 
bring provisions to the king of the French and his other 
enemies ; he therefore inarched to that place, burned the 
town, destroyed the monks, and carried away the coffin of 
St. Valery, with his bones, into Normandy. In the harbour 
there he found some English ships laden with corn and pro- 
visions ; whereupon he ordered their crews to be hung, and 
after burning the ships, bestowed the provisions on his 

Haw kiny Richard secured the alliance of the count of Flanders. 

About this same time king Richard, by presents, enticed 
all who were powerful in the French kingdom, into friendship 
with him : he gave five thousand marks of silver to Baldwin 
count of Flanders for his assistance, and that prince gave 
hostages to the king as a security that he would not make 
any terms with the king of the French without his consent. 
The inhabitants of Champagne, with those also of Brittany, 
left the king of the French and joined the side of king 
Richard. William Crepin, constable of Auge, being com- 
pelled by force, surrendered the same castle to the English 
king, who immediately garrisoned it ; and the French king 
assembled an army and laid siege to it. Whilst this was 
going on, the king of the English made a hostile descent 

* The names are omitted. 

+ " In those days there arose in France a famous preacher, by whom fiod 
wrought miracles openly ; he endeavoured to eradicate usury among the 
French, who had imbibed that vice from the Italians, and were much con- 
taminated by it. This preacher, whose name was Fulk. sent n certain 
priest, namely, the abhat de Flai, into Kngland, to put down the horrors of 
traffic on Sunday, and the abbat, on his arrival, eradicated this unseemly 
practice in many places. At this time, Robert of Shrewsbury was conse- 
crated bishop of Bangor." M. J'aris. 

168 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1197. 

on Auvergne, and took ten of the French king's castles, and 
a great number of his followers ; but before the former could 
return into Normandy, the French king had taken the 
castle of Anjou,* but on the receipt of fifty marks of silver, 
he gave up the soldiers of the garrison, safe in life and 
limb, and with their horses and arms, but the king retained 
the castle and strengthened it. 

How the French king was close jrrcssed in Inlanders. 

In the meantime, Baldwin count of Flanders besieged the 
castle of Arras, and the king of the French hearing of this, 
came thither with a large army ; but on his arrival the count 
raised the siege and departed for his own dominions, with 
the king of France in pursuit. But when the latter monarch 
had advanced a good way amongst the lakes and inlets of the 
sea, the count of Flanders caused all the bridges to be 
broken, and the aqueducts to be opened, both in the front and 
rear of the French king, so that he could neither advance or 
retreat, nor could any provisions be brought to him. The 
king, being in this dilemma, sent word to the count that he 
had come there with the intention of making amicable 
arrangements with him. or of recalling him from his fealty 
to the English king ; he, moreover, told the count that he 
was his liege subject, on which account he ought not, nor 
did it become him, to fight against lu's crown. The count, 
however, before he permitted the king of the French to 
depart, made him swear that he would restore both to him- 
self, the count, and to the king of the English, all the castles 
and other their rights, which he had taken possession of 
during the war, and he appointed a day for the performance 
of this agreement, arranging that he himself as well as the 
English king should come to a conference on the Wednesday 
after the exaltation of the holy cross, between Gaillon and 
Andelys ; and then tlie French king, thus escaping capture 
by the duke, returned to his own dominions. But after he 
had got back to Paris he took counsel with his nobles in 
order to break from his agreement ; for lie did not consider 
himself bound to keep an oath which he had made on com- 

Dangu in the original. 

A.D. 1198.] OTIIO, KING OF GERMANY. 109 

Of certain useful laws enacted by king Jtirhard. 

In the same year, on the day of St. Edmund the king and 
martyr, king Richard, at the instance of Hubert archbishop 
of Canterbury arid justiciary of England, made a decree at 
Westminster, that, throughout England all measures of corn 
and pulse, both in cities and other places, should be of the 
same size, and especially the measure of ale, wine, and the 
weights of merchants. It was also decreed that woollen 
cloths in all parts of the kingdom should be two ells 
wide, within the borders, and should be as good in the middle 
as they were at the sides. It was, moreover, decreed that 
no trader should hang up before his shop red or black cloths, 
or anything else by which the sight of purchasers should be 
deceived in choosing a good cloth. A decree was also 
passed that no dye, except black, should be anywhere made 
use of in the kingdom, except in the capital cities or the 
boroughs ; and if any one should be convicted of transgress- 
ing any of these laws, that his body should be imprisoned, 
and his goods confiscated to the revenue. In this same 
year, Philip, a clerk of the king's, of the country of Poictou, 
was elected bishop of Durham, and was consecrated at the 
Lateran by pope Celestine. 

Of the coronation of Olho, as king of Germany. 

A.D. 1198. In the ninth year of king Richard's reign, on 
the recommendation of the same monarch, his nephew Otho 
was crowned king of Alemaine or Germany ; he directly 
married the daughter of the duke of Louvain, and on the 
day of his coronation sat at table in the church with her, 
though she was not crowned at that time. In the same year, 
on the death of pope Celestine, Innocent the Third succeeded 
him, and on St. Peter's day was consecrated pope and placed 
in St. Peter's chair; under his auspices there sprang up in 
Italy a new sect of preachers called 'Jacobites,' because they 
imitated the life of the apostles. These men went forth 
amongst cities, streets, and castles, preaching the word of the 
gospel, eating but little, scantily clothed, and without gold, 
silver, or any other property. In a short time those people 
multiplied throughout the world on account of their volun- 
tary poverty, dwelling in the chief cities by sevens and tens, 
taking no heed for the future, and retaining nothing for their 

170 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A. I). 1198. 

use on the morrow ; they also lived according to the rules of 
the apostles, and whatever they had abundance of at their 
tables from charitable gifts, this they immediately bestowed 
on the poor ; they went about shod in the preaching of the 
gospel, slept in their clothes, used hard beds, and put stones 
under their heads for pillows. 

Of I he wonderful penitence of Hityh bishop of Chester. 

In the same year Hugh de Nunant, bishop of Coventry 
or Chester, fell very ill when on his way to Koine ; and 
when, by his illness gaining ground, he knew that his death 
was approaching, lie sent for the religious men of all Nor- 
mandv, abbats and priors, as many as he could, and in the 
hearing of all of them, and purely and with a contrite heart, 
he in tears confessed aloud all the sins, faults, and offences, 
which occurred to his recollection. So great was his peni- 
tence and contrition, that all those who stood by and looked 
at him were moved to tears ; and at length in tears and lamen- 
tations he with clasped hands besought all the priests, by 
God's virtue, to inflict a fitting repentance and atonement on 
him, a penitence for the great crimes of which he had been 
guilty. But the religious men who stood by his bed hearing 
of such a wicked life in a bishop, and at the same time be- 
holding his excessive contrition of heart, looked at one 
another and were all silent, not knowing what advice to 
give him, or what answer to make on a sudden. The bishop 
on seeing this, said to them, " I know, I know, that now 
you have heard of such great offences, you are doubting 
amongst yourselves as to what you should inflict on me by 
way of atonement; but I beseech you, in the name of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, that, by way of penance you adjudge me. 
for the remission of my sins, to remain, according to the will 
of God, in the tortures of purgatory till the day of judgment. 
that, by the mercy of our Redeemer, whose compassion 
always exceeds his judgment, 1 may then be saved." This 
advice pleased them all, except always the divine clemency, 
which desires all to be preserved, and not one to be lost. 
Then the bishop, in the hearing of them all, acknowledger] 
with great grief that he had exj>elled the monks from Coven- 
try, and, to add to all his faults, had introduced irreligious 
priests in their stead ; to atone for which fault, he found no 


other kind of correction, unless he died in the habit of those 
whom, under the influence of the devil, he hud, as long as 
he was able, persecuted, reduced to beggary, and, in his 
hatred, injured in every possible way. Alter this confession, 
he besought the abbat of Bee, who was standing by him 
amongst the rest, out of charity, and to the shame of the 
devil, to grant him the habit of a monk, that he might have 
as protectors in the life to come those whom he had perse- 
cuted in this. After this was granted him, he gave all he 
possessed in gold and silver, jewels, and precious vessels, to 
religious houses and to the poor, and thus died more happily 
than was expected amidst the hopes and tears of those who 
stood round. 

Of the restoration of the conventual church at Coventry, and the expul- 
sion of the priests. 

There was at this time staying at the court of Rome a 
certain monk of the convent at Coventry named Thomas, 
who had been with the rest of his brethren expelled, as has 
been mentioned above, by the before-named bishop, and who 
was endeavouring by the authority of the supreme pontiff to 
place again in their former condition the monks who were 
dispersed in all directions ; some of his brethren had died, 
some had left the court weary and impoverished, he alone 
persevering in the matter, although on account of his poverty 
he was often obliged to beg his bread ; but, having heard the 
wished-for news of the death of the bishop of Coventry, his 
heart was elated in the Lord, who shows his goodness to 
those who trust in him and persevere in well-doing. One day 
when the newly created pope Innocent was sitting in council 
with his cardinals, the aforesaid monk suddenly burst into 
the midst of them, and held out to the pope a petition setting 
forth his business ; the latter, after he had read it, replied to 
the hasty monk, " Brother, has not this petition been often, 
in my sight and hearing, refused by our predecessors Clement 
and Celestine ; and do you think, if you could not over- 
reach them, to do so with me as if I were foolish ?" and 
added with anger, " Depart, brother, depart, for you cer- 
tainly wait here to no purpose." But the monk hearing 
these words, replied with bitter tears, saying, " Holy father, 
my petition is just, and altogether honourable, and therefore 

172 KOGEK OK WEN'DOVER. [A.D. 1198. 

I do not wait in vain : for I await your death, as I have the 
deaths of your predecessors ; for he who succeeds you will 
hear my petition with effect." But the pope hearing these 
words, was inexpressibly astonished, and turning to his car- 
dinals who sat near him, said, " Heard ye what this devil 
said? 'I await,' says he, 'your death, as I have that of 
your predecessors.'" Then turning to the monk he said, 
" Brother, by St. Peter, you shall not wait my death here, 
for your petition is granted." And immediately before he 
took any food, he sent commands to Hubert archbishop of 
Canterbury, that, immediately on the receipt of his letters, he 
should go in person to the church of Coventry, expel the 
priests, and reinstate the monks. The said archbishop, there- 
fore, supported by the high pontiff's authority, removed the 
before-mentioned priests, and on the 18th of January re- 
introduced the monks in their stead. As the prior of that 
place had died when the monks were driven into exile, he 
appointed as prior over them a Norman named Joibert, who, 
on account of his eminent skill in secular affairs, had received 
the government of the three priories, of Daventry, Wenlock, 
and Coventry ; lie immediately with the advice of the monks 
set about the election of a bishop, and by common consent the 
lot fell on Geoffrey de Muschamp. The prior of Bermondsey 
dying about this time, too, Hubert archbishop of Canter- 
bury, to satisfy the avarice of the aforesaid Joibert, added 
this fourth priory to his other three. 

Of the consecration of certain bishops. 

On the fourth Sunday in Lent of the same year, Eustace 
dean of Salisbury, was consecrated bishop of Ely, by Hubert 
archbishop of Canterbury, in the chapel of St. Catherine at 
Westminster. Afterwards, Geoffrey bishop of Coventry 
elect, was consecrated by the same archbishop at Canterbury 
on the 21st of June. In this year, too, on the loth of May, 
a shower of blood fell on those who were building the castle 
at Andelys in Normandy, which was a warning perhaps that 
the death of kifig Richard would occur shortly. And at this 
time, too, Geoffrey archbishop of York, made peace with the 
king and his brother in Normandy, for the king was dis- 
pleased with him on account of the removal of his chancellor 
ut the time he was a prisoner of the emperor's. 

A.D. 1198.] BATTLE IN WALES. 173 

Of the removal of Hubert archbishop of Canterbury from the office of 

At that time a difference arose between tlie archbishop of 
Canterbury and the monks of the Holy Trinity at that place, 
on account of the new church which the archbishop had 
built at Lambeth ; for the monks were afraid* that he 
would transfer the cathedral see to the latter place ; they 
therefore set out to Rome to complain to pope Innocent, that 
the archbishop, contrary to the dignity of his station, was 
acting as justiciary of England, and judge in matters of life 
and death, and that he paid attention to secular affairs more 
than was proper, neglecting the affairs of the church ; they 
also charged him with the fact, that it was by his orders that 
the church, of St. Mary of the Arches, f in London, was 
profaned, when William with the Beard was dragged forth 
from it, tied to horses' tails, dragged through the streets of 
the city, and finally hung on the gallows ; and in this way 
the monks, spending a great deal of money about it, greatly 
dimmed the archbishop's fame. The pope, on hearing these 
things, commanded the king of England, immediately on 
receipt of his letters, under penalty of an interdict, to dismiss 
the aforesaid archbishop from the office of justiciary, as it 
was especially forbidden bishops to meddle with secular 
business. King Richard, therefore, dismissed the archbishop, 
and appointed Geoffrey Fitz-Peter in his place. 

Of a battle between the English and Welsh, in which many irerc slain. 

In the same year, whilst king Richard was staying beyond 
sea, Geoffrey Fitz-Peter, high justiciary of England, assem- 
bled a large army and marched into Wales to the assistance 
of William de Brause, and his followers, who were besieged 
in the castle of Matilda, by Wenunwen king of Wales ; and 
on his arrival there a battle took place. J But the Welsh 

* "For the monks feared, and indeed it not only was publicly reported, 
but also the archbishop had used threats to the same effect, that he would 
transfer thither the episcopal see, and what was still worse, degrade the 
monks, and put secular canons in their places. If this should take effect, 
it would redound to the injury of many, together with the ingratitude of 
the electors, and of the numerous saints who had been monks in that 
church." M. PARIS. 

t How Church. 

J Matthew 1'aris adds here, " Almost all tlm Welshmen in Wales wcrv 

174 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A. D. 1198. 

not being able to resist the English, were put to flight, and 
throwing away their arms in order to fly better, gave courage 
to the English ; more than three thousand seven hundred 
of their soldiers were said to have been slain, besides those 
who were taken prisoners, and those mortally wounded ; but 
of the English only one man was killed, and he was pierced 
by an arrow which was carelessly discharged by one of his 
fellow soldiers. 

How king Richard, in a battle with the French king, took twenty knights. 

About the same time, Philip king of the French, and the 
English king Richard, met in battle between Jumieges and 
Vernon ; in this conflict the French king and his followers 
took to flight, and retreated to Vernon for safety, but before 
they could get into the castle, king Richard, who was pur- 
suing them at the sword's point, made prisoners of twenty 
knights, and more than sixty soldiers. On the tenth of 
September in this year, Richard bishop of London paid 
the debt of nature. 

Of a ijlorious victory gained by king Richard. 

About that time, king Richard assembled all his forces, 
and, supported by the valour of his English troops, took by 
assault three of the French king's castles, namely, Sirefontan, 
Burs, and the fortress of Curcel. The French king, who 
believed that the castle of Curcel was not yet taken, came 
from Nantes to render assistance to that place, with four 

assembled together, sworn to oppose the unjust invasion of the English as 
Jong as they had breath in their bodies. When they were drawn out in 
battle array against the English army, Peter the justiciary, a brave and 
prudent knight, came up with his people in battle array against them, and 
exhorted his men to fight bravely and manfully. One of them, named 
Walter do I lame, a native of Trumpington, replied, ' God forbid, my lord, 
that any nobleman should be prodigal of his own life : I am but a poor man, 
and my life is of no value, nor will the enemy have much cause to triumph 
in my death.' With these words, he did not wait for a reply, but furiously 
spurred against one of the foremost of the enemy, leaving him on the ground 
grievously wounded, charged a second, whom he served in the same 
manner, and then assailed a third, whom he seized by the helmet, and 
nearly shook the breath out of his body. Then looking back upon his own 
army, he exclaimed, ' Hurra ! king's men, come on, and charge them, the 
victory is ours)' Ik-fore he had spoken these words, the Welsh army was 
broken ; the right wing of the English came up, and the enemy were 
routed right and left." 


hundred knights and a number of attendants, and all his 
soldiers ; king Richard learning this by means of his .scouts, 
came in an opposite direction to meet them, and fought a 
pitched battle with them, between Curcel and Gi.sor.s. In 
this conflict the French king, unable to sustain the shock of 
the battle, fled with his attendants to the eastle of Gisors. 
As the fugitives were retreating over the bridge of that 
town, it broke down on account of the multitude who im- 
petuously rushed on it, and the king himself with his horse 
and armour fell into the river Ethe, with innumerable others 
of the French, and, as he lay there, was rolled over and over 
in the mud, and with difficulty saved from death. In the 
meantime, a picked body of the French troops, in order to 
assist the flight of their sovereign, and to save him from 
falling into the hands of the pursuing king, faced about 
against king Richard, and made a fierce attack on him, 
thus exposing themselves to death for the preservation of 
their sovereign. Then the battle raged on both sides, swords 
thundered on helmeted heads, and drew fire by quickly re- 
peated blows, and the stiff lances knocked down enemies in 
all directions ; but I have no time for the relation ; their 
rage did not cease till the king of the English had captured 
the whole of the resisting band. In this battle king Richard 
unhorsed and made prisoners of three chosen knights, 
Matthew de Montmorenci, Alan de Rusci, and Fulk de 
Gilernalles ; and with them were taken the following men of 
rank in the French kingdom, Gallis de Porta, Gerard de 
Chori, Philip de Nanteuil, Peter d'Eschans, Robert de St. 
Denys, Theobald de Wallengard, Cedunal de Trie, Roger de 
Meetlent, Aim Triers, Reginald d'Asci, Baldwin de Leisni, 
Thomas d'Asgent, Ferrius de Paris, Peter de Latonia, Guy 
de Nevers, Frumentin of Champagne, Theodoric d'Anceis, 
Anfrie de Baalim, Eborard de Montigny, Odo de Munteiuri, 
Funcard de Roche, Walter Rufus, Arnulph de Leini, 
William de Banceto, .Token de Bray, Peter de Pinei, D'-nbert 
d'Augi, Puncard du Chatel, William de Merllon, .John de 
Granges, Theobald de Breun, Roger de Beaumont, Gilbert 
de Braye, Peter de Maidul, John de Genii, Alard de I.oviers, 
Ralph de Valencel, Ferri de Brunave, Thomas de Custele, 
William de Rochemont, Theobald de lUisci; and besides 
these already mentioned the said king took u hundred 

176 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1198. 

knights and two hundred horses, covered with armour ; of 
soldiers, horse and foot, and arbalesters, he took an 
immense number. After this, the victorious Richard sent 
letters to all his friends in England, such as the archbishops, 
bishops, abbats, earls, and barons, earnestly and devoutly 
begging of them to join him in glorifying God for having 
granted him such a triumph over his enemies. 

Of a treaty made Ictu-ccn the kings of France and England. 

Philip the French king, therefore, seeing that the power 
of the king of England daily increased whilst his own 
gradually grew deficient, yielded to necessity, and secretly 
sent messengers to the supreme pontiff, setting forth by his 
pleaders that he was willingly to come to an arrangement 
with the king of England, or by a truce to put off lighting 
for a time, in order that, after the truce was confirmed by 
the authority of the pope himself, the monarchs of both 
kingdoms might, by his co-operation, be able to fulfil the 
vows of their pilgrimage, and to release the land of promise 
from the power of the enemies of Christ ; and that this 
might be made secure and binding, the king asked the pope 
to send some cardinal with plenary powers to the western 
parts, who could, if necessary, pronounce sentence of inter- 
dict against whichever of them should be found averse to 
peace and amity. With these and many other similar re- 
quests, pope Innocent, who was most anxious to forward tin- 
cause of the crusade, was induced to comply, more by money 
than the king's entreaties, and he accordingly sent Peter 
of Capua, one of his cardinals, to make peace between the 
two kings. He. on his arrival at the French king's do- 
minions, by advice of that monarch, took with him some 
bishops of both kingdoms, and, on coming to the king of 
England, he explained to him what great calamities were 
happening and would continue to happen to the kingdoms of 
the two monarchs unless peace was soon made between 
them. King Richard, however, answered witli indignation, 
saying that he was not bound by law to do anything at the 
pope's command, especially as lie had often asked him to 
compel the French king by the church's censure to restore to 
him the territories and castles which the said king, in dis- 
regard of his oath, had unjustly seized on when he himself 

A.D. 1199.] KING RICHARD'S DEATH. 177 

was, in the land of promise, expelling the enemies of the 
cross, and endeavouring to restore the Holy Land to a proper 
state. Wherefore, he had been compelled, by the fault of 
the pope himself, to spend a very large sum of money in 
refraining his own inheritance ; by which the aforesaid king 
had not only committed perjury, but had also incurred the 
sentence of excommunication ; and moreover, he did not 
know whether the French king would agree to the truce. 
The cardinal then called the English king aside, and told 
him under a pledge of secresy, that it was at the instance 
of that very monarch that he had been sent by the pope to 
make peace between them ; and he advised the king also this 
once to acquiesce in the pope's wish, and to rest assured that 
the pope would listen to him concerning the king of the 
French, as well as concerning any other matters. On this 
king Richard, who beyond measure desired the welfare of 
his nephew Otho, the lately crowned king of Germany, in 
order to obtain from the pope easier approach to the imperial 
consecration, was overcome by the entreaties of all, and 
acquiesced in the arrangements. The two kings then met 
together, and swore to keep a truce for five years, with the 
condition that the subjects and merchants of both kings 
should be allowed to pass and repass at will, for the purpose 
of buying or selling, through the territories and markets of 
either kingdom. After this was done, the king of England 
sent the abbat of Chertsey and Raymond, a monk of St. 
Alban's, who had been sent into Normandy to the king, about 
the affairs of his church to Rome, to carry the above-men- 
tioned treaty into effect ; and, to effect all this, the king 
levied a tax of five shillings on every ploughed hide of land 
throughout all England by way of aiding him. 

7/oifl Hubert archbishop of Canterbury destroyed the church at Lambeth. 
A.D. 1199. Hubert archbishop of Canterbury, at his own 
expense, and to the disgrace of himself and many others, at 
the request of the monks of Canterbury and by the order of 
the supreme pontiff, destroyed the church of Lambeth, which 
his predecessor Baldwin had founded and almost finished 

Of kin rj Richard's death. 

In the same year, after the truce had been arranged 


178 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A. D. 1199. 

between Philip and Richard, the kings of France and 
England, the latter king turned his arras against some of the 
rebel barons of Puictou, and carrying fire and sword into their 
cities and towns, cut down their vineyards and orchards, and 
slew some of his enemies without pity. At length he arrived 
in the duchy of Aquitaine, and laid siege to the castle of 
Chalus, in the Limosin whore, on the 26th of March, he 
was wounded by one Peter Basilii, with a poisoned weapon, 
as was said, but of this wound he thought nothing. At 
length in the twelve days which he survived, he fiercely 
attacked and took the castle, and committing the knights and 
their followers to imprisonment, put his own followers in 
the castle, at the same time strengthening the fortifications. 
But the wound which he had received at this place, having 
been all this time unattended to, began to swell, and a sort of 
blackness overspreading the place of the wound, mixed with 
the swelling, and caused him intolerable pain. At length 
when he perceived that his danger was imminent, the king 
prepared for his end by contrition of heart, by pure verbal 
confession and by the communion o^the body and blood of 
our Lord ; he forgave the author of his death, namely Peter, 
who had wounded him, and ordered him to be released from 
his chains and to depart. He ordered his body to be buried 
at Font-Evrault near the feet of his father, whose destroyer 
he confessed himself to be, and bequeathed his invincible 
heart to the church of Rouen; his entrails he ordered to be 
buried in the church at the above-named castle, thus giving 
them as a present to the inhabitants of Poictou. To some of 
his intimate followers lie, under a promise of secresy, revealed 
his reasons for making such a distribution of his body ; for 
the reason above-assigned he gave his body to his father; he 
sent his heart as a present to the inhabitants of Rouen on 
account of the incomparable fidelity which he had always 
experienced in them ; but to the inhabitants of Pioctou, for 
their known treachery, he left his entrails, not considering 
them worthy of any other part of him. After he had spoken 
thus the swelling suddenly reached the parts about his heart, 
and on Tuesday the Gtli of April this warlike man gave 
up his spirit at the above-mentioned castle, after reigning 
nine years and a half. He was buried, according to his 
orders whilst living, at Font-Evrault, and with him, in the 

A. D. 1199.] RICHARD'S EPITAPH. 179 

opinion of many, were buried alike the pride and honour of 
the chivalry of the West ; of his death and burial some one 
has published the following epitaph. 

His entrails given to Poictou Lie buried near to Fort C'lmlus; 
His body lies entombed below A marble slab at Font-Evraut ; 
And Neustria thou hast thy part The unconquerable hero's heart. 
And thus through cities three are spread The ashes of the mighty dead, 
But this a funeral cannot be Instead of one this king has three. 

Here begins, about king Jufm, and other things that happened at that time. 

After the victorious king Richard had, as has been 
mentioned, gone the way of all flesh, John earl of Mortaigne, 
his brother, honourably retained all those who had .served his 
brother as well as the mercenary knights, promising them 
large presents ; and forthwith he sent Hubert archbishop of 
Canterbury, and William Marshal into England, to make his 
peace there, and to take charge of the kingdom, together 
with Geoffrey Fitz-Peter, who was then justiciary, and other 
nobles of the kingdom. On their arrival there they made 
the people swear fealty to earl John, and meeting with 
Geoffrey Fitz-Peter they called together all the nobles of 
whom they had the most doubts; to them they promised that 
earl John would restore their rights to them all ; on which 
condition then the earls and barons swore fealty to the said 
earl, in opposition to all others. But to William king of 
Scots, they sent word by Eustace de Vesci, that earl John, 
on his return, would satisfy him for all his rights in England, 
if in the meantime he would keep faith and peace with the 
earl ; and thus all strife and contention in England was set 
at rest. 

How some of the nobles united themselves to earl John, awl others to 

Whilst these events were passing in England, earl John 
went to Chinon, where the treasure of the deceased kinir was 
deposited, which John de Turnham, who had charge of it, 
gave up to him with the castles of Saumur anil Chinon, and 
other fortresses, which had been entrusted to his care ; Imt 
Thomas de Furneis, nephew of the said Robert, delivered the 
city and castle of Anjou, to Arthur count of Brittany, and 
joined the said Arthur. The chiefs of Anjou, Maine, and 
Tours also adhered to the party of Arthur as their liege lord, 

N 2 

180 ROGEK OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1199. 

saying that it was the opinion and the custom of those 
countries that Arthur, who was the son of the elder brother, 
should succeed his uncle in the patrimony and inheritance, 
which Geoffrey, father of this same Arthur would have had. 
if he had survived king Richard. Moreover Constance, 
Arthur's mother, went to Tours, to the French king, and 
delivered the said Arthur to him ; that king at once sent 
him to Paris under charge of a guard, and received into his 
care all the cities and castles which belonged to Arthur. But 
earl John, and his mother queen Eleanor, came attended by 
a large army to Maine, took the city and castle, destroyed 
the stone houses in it, because the inhabitants had taken the 
side of Arthur, and, making prisoners of the citizens, incar- 
cerated them. 

How earl John assumed the duchy of Normandy. 

After these events earl John spent Easter day at Bamfort 
in Anjou, and on the day after sent queen Eleanor with 
Marcadeus. to the city of Anjou, which they attacked and 
destroyed, making prisoners of the citizens. Earl John, in 
the meantime, came to Rouen, and on the octaves of Easter 
day,* was girt with the sword of the duchy of Normandy in 
the mother church, by Walter archbishop of Rouen, and the 
same archbishop before the great altar placed on his head the 
golden circle with rosettes of gold artificially worked in a 
circle on the top of it ; the duke then in the presence of the 
clergy and people, swore, on the relics of the saints and by 
the holy gospels, that he would in good faith and without 
evil practices defend the holy church, and its dignity, and 
honour the ordained priests of it ; he moreover swore to do 
away with bad laws, if there were any, and to make others 
in lieu of them. On the 23rd of May in this year, William, of 
Norman race, and a canon of St. Paul's church at London, 
was consecrated bishop of London in the chapel of St. 
Catherine, at Westminster by Hubert archbishop of Canter- 

Of kinif John's coronation. 

About this time John duke of Normandy came over into 
England, and landed at Shorehara on the 25th of May; on 

25th of April. 


the day after, which was the eve of our Lord's ascension, he 
went to London to be erowned there. On his arrival there- 
fore, the archbishops, bishops, earls, barons, and all others, 
whose duty it was to be present at his coronation, assembled 
together in the church of the chief of the apostles at 
Westminster, on the 27th of May, and there Hubert arch- 
bishop of Canterbury placed the crown on his head,* and 
anointed him king ; Philip bishop of Durham, made an 
appeal to prevent this coronation taking place in the absence 
of Geoffrey archbishop of York, but did not obtain his wish. 
At this coronation king John bound himself by a triple oath, 
namely, to love the holy church and its ordained priests, and 
to preserve it harmless from the attacks of evil designers, 
and to do away with bad laws, substituting good ones in their 
stead, and to see justice rightly administered throughout 
England. He was afterwards adjured by the same arch- 
bishop on behalf of God, and strictly forbidden to presume to 
accept this honour, unless he purposed in his mind, to fulfil in 
deed, what he had sworn to ; in reply to this the king 
promised that, by God's assistance, he would in all good 

* Matthew Paris adds as follows: "The archbishop, standing in the 
midst, addressed them thus, ' Hear, all of you, and be it known that no one 
has an antecedent right to succeed another in the kingdom, unless he shall 
have been unanimously elected, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, on 
account of the superior merits of his character, after the example of Saul 
the first anointed king, whom the Lord set over his people, not as the sou 
of a king, nor as born of royal ancestry. In the same manner, after 
Saul came David, son of Jesse. Saul was chosen because he was a brave 
man, and suited for the royal dignity: David, because he was holy and 
humble. Thus those who excelled in vigour are elevated to kingly dignity. 
But, if any relations of a deceased king excel others in merit, all should the 
more readily and zealously consent to his election. We have said this to 
maintain the cause of earl John, who is here present, brother of our illus- 
trious king Richard, lately deceased without heirs of his body, and as the 
said earl John is prudent, active, and indubitably noble, we have, under 
God's Holy Spirit, unanimously elected him for his merits and his royal 
blood.' Now the archbishop was a man of bold character and a support to 
the kingdom by his steadiness and incomparable wisdom, no one, therefore, 
dared to dispute what he said, as knowing that he had good cause tor what 
he did. Earl John and all who were present acquiesced, and they unani- 
mously elected the earl, crying out, ' God save the king!' Archbishop 
Hubert was afterwards asked why he acted in this manner, to which he 
replied that he knew John would one day or other bring the kingdom into 
great confusion, wherefore he determined that he should owe his elevation 
to election and not to hereditary right." 

182 ROGEK OF WEXDOVER. [_A.D. 1199. 

faith keep tlic oath which he had made. On the following 
day, after he had received the homage and fealty of his sub 
jects, he went to St. Alban's, the proto-martyr of England, to 
pray ; and so, making but a very short stay in England, he 
with the advice of the nobles duly settled everything that 
required his attention. 

How king John crossed over into Normandy and reconciled many of the 
nobles to himself. 

On the day of St. John the Baptist's nativity the king 
crossed sea to Normandy, and on his arrival at Rouen a 
number of soldiers, both horse and foot, flocked together to 
him, and these he gladly retained in his service. Afterwards 
he had an interview with the king of the French, when a 
truce was agreed on till the day after the assumption of tin- 
blessed Mary, in order that they might in the meantime 
arrange terms of peace. In the meantime the count of 
Flanders and many other nobles of the French kingdom 
came to king John at Rouen, and made a treaty of alliance 
with him, as they had done with king Richard, against the 
king of the French ; and after mutually giving security, each 
returned to his own territories. 

How the kinys met at a conference, but went away at variance with one 

In this same year, on the day after the assumption of the 
blessed Mary, the French king conferred the knight's belt on 
Arthur count of Brittany ; and the said Arthur at once did 
homage to the French king for Anjou, Poictou, Tours. 
Maine, Brittany, and Normandy ; and the king promised 
Arthur his assistance in gaining possession of all these places. 
On the day after the two kings held a conference between 
the castle of Butavant and Gaillon, at which they, apart 
from the nobles of both kingdoms, conversed face to face for 
an hour, no one except themselves being within hearing. 
At this interview the French king required for his own use 
the whole of the Vexin, that is, the country contained be- 
tween the forest of Lyons and the Seine on one -side, and the 
rivers Andelys and Ethe on the other side ; and said that 
Geoffrey Plantagenet count of Anjou, John's grandfather, had 
given it to Louis le Gros for the assistance afforded him by 

A.I). 1199.] OTHO KMPEKOR OF ROME. 183 

that monarch in gaining possession of Normandy in oppo- 
sition to king Stephen. lie moreover demanded for Arthur 
the countries of Poictou, Anjou, Maine, Tours, and Nor- 
mandy, and many other things, which John would not and 
ought not to grant; and so, breaking off the interview, 
they departed mutually at variance. The king of the French 
being asked by his nobles why he was so inimically disposed 
towards king John, who had never done him an injury, 
replied that the latter had seized on Normandy and the 
above-named other countries without his permission, whereas 
he ought, at king Richard's death, in the first place to have 
come to him, and done homage to him for his right. The 
king of the French thus departed ; but William de Rupibus, a 
nobleman, cunningly took Arthur away from the care of the 
French king, and made, peace between him and the king of 
England, at the same time giving up to the latter the city of 
Mans, which the French king had entrusted together 
with Arthur to the care of the aforesaid William ; but on the 
same day it was told Arthur that the king of the English 
would take him and consign him to perpetual imprisonment ; 
on which lie secretly made his escape and returned to the 
king of the French again. 

lime kiti/j (Hho went to Rome, and obtained the title of emperor there- 

At that time the election of Philip duke of Suabia, and 
many others, was annulled, and Otho king of Germany was 
elected and admitted emperor of Rome by pope Innocent 
and all the Roman people. After this election was confirmed 
by the pope, Philip duke of Suabia, and all his supporters, 
were threatened with excommunication, unless they desisted 
from their persecution of Otho ; and in the capital, and 
throughout the whole city of Rome, the cry was raised of 
' Life and health to the emperor Otho.' JJeing thus con- 
firmed in his title by all, he recollected that it was by king 
Richard's means that he had been advanced to such a great 
dignity, he therefore sent word to king John to put oil 
coining to terms of friendship with the French king, because 
he the emperor would, God willing, in a short time provide 
him with such assistance as became the imperial dignity to 

184 BOGEE OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1199. 

The French kingdom is laid under interdict. 

About this time, Peter of Capua, a cardinal and legate of 
the apostolic see, laid the kingdom of France under an inter- 
dict, on account of the imprisonment of his brother Peter de 
Douay, bishop-elect of Cambray; but the king of the 
French released the said bishop-elect before the sentence was 
withdrawn. In the same year, too, the same legate came to 
the king of the English and demanded, under pain of inter- 
dict, the release of the bishop of Beauvais, who had now been 
most cruelly detained in prison for two years, and the 
king's free permission for that prelate to depart ; but since 
the said bishop had, in disregard of the dignity of his order, 
been taken in arms like a soldier or routier, he was not 
allowed to depart before he had satisfied the rapacity of the 
king by paying six thousand marks of silver sterling weight 
into his treasury ; after which the said bishop swore that he 
would never again during his life carry arms against the 

Of the decision of the old cause between the churches of Tours and Dol. 

In this year a very old cause between the churches of 
Tours and Dol, was decided at Koine by a definitive de- 
cree of pope Innocent ; the archbishop of Tours requiring 
submission from the bishop of Dol, and the bishop of Dol 
opposing it. The church of Dol was the head of Lesser 
Brittany, and the high priests of that church, as well as all 
the other prelates of Lesser Brittany, had in the time of 
St. Martin, and before and long since that time, been suffra- 
gans of the church of Tours, but they afterwards revolted 
from their allegiance to that church ; the reason of which 
was this. When the English came into the Greater Britain 
to subdue it, and Uterpendragon, king of the Britons, being 
taken seriously ill, was confined to his bed at Verulamium, so 
that he was able neither to help himself nor to defend his 
kingdom against the rage of the barbarians of th' rmintrv, 
the superstition of the English (Saxons) is said to have prevailed 
to such an extent, that the whole island almost was laid 
waste from sea to sea, and the holy churches levelled to the 
ground. On this, the pontiffs and prelates of the churches, 
seeing the desolation of the country and the subversion of the 


holy church, retreated to places of greater safety, agreeing 
unanimously, that it was wiser to avoid the rage of the bar- 
barians for a time, than to dwell fruitlessly amongst those 
who rebelled against the Christian faith. Amongst, 
St. Sampson, archbishop of York, a man of unparalleled 
sanctity, fled to his fellow countrymen in Lesser Brittany (for 
they were of the same extraction and country), and carried 
with him the pail, which he had received from the Koman 
pontiff; and on his arrival in that country, he was received 
with honour by his fellow citizens, and by the common con- 
sent of all, was elected to the bishopric of the church of L)ol, 
which had been lately deprived of its pastor, and the king's 
permission having been obtained, he was enthroned in that 
office, although much against his will ; and in that church he, 
as long as he lived, and after him, many of his successors 
always wore that pall, which he had brought from the 
monastery of York. But afterwards, the kings of that 
province, when they had had an archbishop in their own 
kingdom, did not allow their bishops, although they had 
always been formerly suffragans of the church of Tours, to 
pay due obedience to the before-mentioned archbishop of 
Tours; and they determined that the bishops of Lesser Brit- 
tany should not again have any other metropolitan than the 
archbishop of Dol. After the lapse, however, of three hun- 
dred years or more from that time, pope Nicholas, at the 
instance of the archbishop of Tours, endeavoured to revoke 
this error, and wrote a letter to Salomon king of the Britons, 
which is contained in the decretals of Gratian, CAUS. 3, 
QUEST. 6, as follows: 

Letter of pope Nicholas on the same matter, 

" This is the decree of your said father, and this is the 
law of the church your mother, to wit, that you send all the 
bishops of your kingdom to the archbishop of Tours, and ask 
his judgment ; for lie is the metropolitan, and all the bishops 
of your kingdom are his suffragans, as the writings of my 
predecessors plainly show ; and they strongly rebuked your 
predecessors for having withdrawn themselves from the juris- 
diction of that archbishop, although our own letters also to 
you on this matter seem not to be deficient." And in another 
part, "But whereas there is a great contention amongst the 

186 ROOER OF WEXDOVER, [A.D. 1200. 

Britons, as to wlio is the metropolitan bishop, and no man's 
recollection holds that you ever had any metropolitan church 
in your own district ; however, if it pleases you, you will be. 
able easily to perceive the truth of my words, since Almighty 
God has made peace between you and our beloved son, the 
renowned king Charles ; but it' you intend to proceed con- 
tentiously, endeavour to bring the matter before our apostolic, 
see, that, by our judgment, it may be more clearly known 
which was formerly the archiepiscopal church amongst you. 
and that, all doubt being thus dispelled, your bishops may 
know without hesitation what course they ought to pursue." 
However, notwithstanding that the above-mentioned admoni- 
tion was given to the said king, he did not desist from his pur- 
pose, but ever afterwards both he and his successors persisted 
in their disobedience, and a continual strife and disagreement 
existed between the bishops of Tours and Dol, until in the 
present year, as has been stated above, it was definitively 
decided by the pope, that, not only the bishop of Dol, but 
also all the other bishops of Brittany, should be subject to the 
archbishop of Rouen, and acquiesce in his canonical injunc- 
tions for ever. The said pope in pronouncing definitive 
judgment in this matter, as one who is great in knowledge, 
and bold, and at the same time skilled in law, rose, and thus 
spoke : " Let Dol grieve, and Tours rejoice." 

Ifiw queen Klranor teas sent for the lady Hlanche, to be married to Louis. 

A.n. 1200. After the feast of St. Hilary, the French and 
English kings, "Philip and John, held a conference at a place 
between the castles of (laillon and Butavant, at which it was 
agreed between the said kings with the advice of the chief 
nobles of each kingdom, that Louis, the son and heir of the 
French king, should espouse the daughter of Alphonso king 
of Castile, who was also niece of king John, and that the 
English king should, when this marriage was contracted, 
give to Louis as a marriage portion with his niece Blanche. 
the city of Evreux, with the whole of that county, and 
thirty thousand marks of silver besides. Moreover, the 
French king asked the English monarch to give him security 
that he would afford no assistance, either in soldiers or in 
money, to his nephew Otho, in obtaining the Roman empire. 
It has been said that Philip duke of Suabia, by the French 


king's connivance and assistance, was grievously harassing 
Otho; indeed lie did not cease his persecution, notwithstand- 
ing the sentence of excommunication with which he had 
been bound by the pope. The treaty above-mentioned 
having been finally confirmed between the kings, they ap- 
pointed the ensuing feast of St. John the Baptist to carry 
into effect, without fail, the terms of the above-mentioned 
agreement ; and after the conference was broken up, king 
John, who hoped by this marriage to enjoy a lengthened 
peace, sent his mother queen Eleanor to fetch the said lady 
Blanche, that the. latter might return with her in safe con- 
duct at the time pre-agreed on. The king of the English in 
the mean time sailed to England, and levied a tax of three 
shillings on each hide of land throughout all England, and. 
after settling some other business, he again crossed sea into 

Of the marriage of Louis with ttu; daughter of Alphonso king of ('uitile. 

Soon after these events, queen Eleanor returned with the 
aforesaid lady who was to be married to Louis, and presented 
her to the king of the English. Afterwards, on the 21st of 
June, the kings held a conference at a place between Gule- 
tune and Butavant, at which the king of the French gave up 
to the English king the city of Evreux, together with tin- 
whole county, and all the lands in Normandy, and the 
other dominions of the English king, which he had taken 
possession of during the war ; king John immediately did 
homage to the French king for them, and then gave them all 
up to Louis as a marriage portion with his niece, and re- 
ceived the homage of Louis for the same. On the day 
following the lady Blanche was married to Louis at Portmort 
in Normandy, by the archbishop ot'Bourdeaux; for the king- 
dom of France was at that time under an interdict ou 
account of queen Botilda,* whom the French king had di- 
vorced. Immediately after his marriage, Louis brought his 
wife to Paris, to the great joy and exultation of the clergy 
and people of both kingdoms. 

I tow king John married qttern Isabel. 

In the same year a divorce having been effected between 
Before called " Itigellmrg," (.laughter of the kin.; of Denmark. 


the king of the English and his wife Hawisa, daughter of 
the earl of Gloucester, because they were related in the 
third degree of affinity, the said king, by the advice of the 
king of the French, espoused Isabel, daughter of the count of 
Angouleme, formerly wife of Hugh, surnamed ' le Brun," 
earl of March: this marriage was afterwards very injurious 
to the king as well as the kingdom of England. Not long 
after this the kings held a conference at Vernon, and there 
Arthur did homage to the king of England for Brittany and 
his other possessions; but as he feared treachery on the part 
of king John, he still remained under the care of the French 

Command of the Lord, which came from heaven to Jerusalem, concerning 
the observance of the sabbath. 

About that time a letter came from heaven to Jerusalem 
and was hung up over the altar of St. Simeon, in Golgotha, 
where Christ was crucified for the redemption of the world ; 
this letter hung for three days and nights, and those who 
beheld it fell to the earth, asking mercy of God, and beseech- 
ing him to show them his will; but on the third day, after 
the third hour of the day, the patriarch, and the archbishop 
Zachariah, raised themselves from their prayers, and, opening 
the fillet over the high-altar, took the sacred letter of God, 
and after inspecting it, found this inscription on it : " I am 
the Lord, who have ordered you to keep holy the day of the 
sabbath, on which I rested from my labours, that all mortals 
might on that day rest for ever; and ye have not kept it, nor 
have ye repented of your sins. As I spake by my gospel, 
' The heaven and the earth shall pass away, but my word 
shall not pass away.' I caused repentance of life to be 
preached to you, and ye did not believe ; I sent upon you 
pagans, and gentiles, who shed your blood upon the earth, 
and still ye did not believe ; and, because ye did not keep 
holy the Lord's day, for a few days ye endured famine; but 
I soon gave you plenty, and ye afterwards did worse : there- 
fore it is my will that, from the ninth hour of the sabbath 
till sunrise on Monday, no one shall do any work, except 
that which is good, and whoever shall do so, shall atone for 
it ; and if ye obey not this my command, verily I say unto 
you, and I swear by my seat and my throne, and by the 
cherubims which guard my holy seat, that 1 will not send 


you any orders by another letter, but I will open the heavens 
and, instead of ruin, I will shower on you stones, and wood, 
and hot water, by night, such that no man can avoid, since 
I will destroy all evil-doers. This I say unto you, ye .shall 
die the death, on account of the holy day of the Lord and the 
other festivals of my saints which ye have not observed. I 
will send on you beasts with the heads of lions, the hair of 
women, and the tails of camels, and they shall be so hungry, 
that they will devour your flesh, and ye shall desire to fly to 
the sepulchres of the dead to hide yourselves for fear of these 
beasts ; and I will take away the light of the sun, and send 
darkness on you, so that not seeing, ye shall slay one another; 
and I will turn my face from you, and will show you no 
mercy, for I will burn your bodies, and the hearts of those, 
who do not keep the Lord's day holy. Hear then my voice, 
lest ye perish on the earth on account of the sacred day of 
the Lord ; depart from evil and repent of your sins, which if 
ye do not, ye will perish like Sodom and Gomorrah. Know 
now, that ye are safe through the prayers of my most holy 
mother Mary, and of my holy angels who pray daily for you. 
I gave you corn and wine in abundance, and then ye obeyed 
me not, for daily do widows and orphans cry unto you, to 
whom ye show no compassion ; pagans have pity, but ye 
have none. Trees which bring forth fruit will I cause to 
rot, for your sins : and rivers and fountains shall not give 
you water. On the mount of Sinai I gave you a law, which 
ye have not observed ; after that, I myself gave you a law, 
which ye kept not. Wicked men that ye are, ye have not 
kept holy the Sunday of my resurrection ; ye take away the 
property of others and treat the matter with no considera- 
tion : for this will I send on you worse beasts, who will 
devour the breasts of your women. Them will I curse who 
act unjustly towards their brethren ; them will I curse who 
evilly judge the poor and the orphan: but ye have deserted 
me, and are following the prince of this life. Hear my voice, 
and ye will receive mercy; but ye cease not from your evil 
deeds, nor from the works of the devil, inasmuch as ye 
commit perjury and adultery, and so nations will surround 
you and devour you like wild beasts." 

190 KOGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D 1200. 

Of the preaching of Eustace ablat of Flay e, on the said mandate. 

But when the patriarch and all the clergy of the Holy 
Land had carefully examined into the tenor of this letter, 
and beheld the words of it with mixed admiration and fear, 
it was determined by the common opinion of all, that it 
should be transmitted for the consideration of the Roman 
pontiff, that all might be satisfied with whatever he deter- 
mined ought to be done. The letter having at length been 
brought under the notice of our lord the pope, he imme- 
diately ordained priests, who were sent out into every 
quarter of the world to preach the purport of the letter, the 
Lord co-operating with them, and confirming their discourse 
by miracles resulting therefrom. Amongst these the abbat 
of Flaye, Eustace by name, a religious and learned man, set 
out for England, and there shone forth in performing many 
miracles ; he landed near the city of Dover, and commenced 
the duty of his preaching at a town called Wi. In the neigh- 
bourhood of that place he bestowed his blessing on a certain 
spring, which by his merits was so endowed with the Lord's 
favour, that, from the taste of it alone, the blind recovered 
sight, the lame their power of walking, the dumb their 
speech, and the deaf their hearing ; and whatever sick person 
drank of it in faith, at once enjoyed renewed health. A 
certain woman who was attacked by devils, and swollen up 
as it were by dropsy, came to him there, seeking to be 
restored to health by him ; lie said to her, " Have confidence, 
my daughter, go to the spring at Wi, which the Lord hath 
blessed, drink of it, and there you will recover health." The 
woman departed, and, according to the advice of the man of 
God, drank, and she immediately broke out into a fit of 
vomiting; and, in the sight of all who were at the fountain 
for the recovery of their health, there came from her two 
large black toads, which, in order to show that they were 
devils, were immediately transformed to great black dogs, and 
after a short time took the forms of asses. The woman stood 
astonished, but shortly ran after them in a rage, wishing to 
catch them ; but a man who had been appointed to take 
charge of the spring, sprinkled some of the water between 
the woman and the monsters, on which they flew up into the 
air and vanished, leaving behind them truces of their foulness. 


How the aforesaid allat caused a fountain of sweet water to sjiriny forth. 

This same man of God came to the town of Rumesncl to 
preach, at which place there was a deficiency of fresh water, 
and at the request of the people of the place, he, with his 
staff', struck a stone in the church there, on which, water in 
abundance flowed forth, and many who drank of it were 
cured of various sicknesses. Afterwards going about from 
place to place, from province to province, from city to city, 
he, by his preaching, induced many to relax in usurious 
habits, admonished them to assume the Lord's cross, and 
turned the hearts of many to works of piety ; he also forbudr 
markets and traffic on Sundays, so that all the business which 
used to be transacted throughout England on Sundays was 
now arranged on one of the days of the following week, and 
thus the people of the faith employed their leisure on 
Sundays in their duties to God, and retrained altogether from 
toil on that day ; as time, however, went on many returned 
to their old customs, like dogs to their vomit. He forbade the 
rectors of the churches and the priests, with the persons 
subject to them, to keep a light constantly burning before 
the eucharist, in order that He who enlightens every man 
that comes into the world, might give the eternal for the 
temporal light. To all the rich and to the upper ranks, 
especially to merchants and citizens, he gave the injunction 
always to have at their table the dish of Christ for the pcx>r, 
that by taking from their accustomed abundance, they might 
alleviate the necessities of the indigent. He also commanded 
the Saturday after three o'clock to be kept holy from all 
servile work the same as Sunday, and also the whole of 
Sunday and the night following, which forms one natural 
day, and represents liguratively the repose of our everlasting 

Of a dreadful miracle wrought on a certain woman. 

About this same time a certain woman of the count v of 
Norfolk, despite of the warnings of this man of God, went 
one day to wash clothes after three o'clock of Saturday ; and, 
whilst she was busily at work, a man of venerable appear- 
ance, unknown to her, approached her, and reproaching!/ 
inquired the reason of her rashness in thus daring, after the 
prohibition of the man of God, to wash clothes after three 

192 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1000. 

o'clock, and thus by unlawful work to profane the holy 
Sabbath day ; he moreover added, that unless she at once 
desisted from her work, she would, without doubt, incur the 
anger of God and the vengeance of Heaven. But she, in 
answer to her rebuker, pleaded urgent poverty, and said that 
she had till then dragged on a wretched life by toil of that 
kind, and if she should desist from her accustomed labour, 
she doubted her ability to procure the means of subsistence. 
After a while the man vanished suddenly from her presence, 
and she renewed her labour of washing the clothes and dry- 
ing them in the sun with more energy than before. But for 
all this the vengeance of God was not wanting ; for, on the 
spot, a kind of small pig of a black colour suddenly adhered 
to the woman's left breast and could not by any effort be 
torn away, but, by continual sucking, drew blood, and in a 
short time almost consumed all the bodily strength of the 
wretched woman ; at length being reduced to the greatest 
necessity, she was compelled for a long time to beg her bread 
from door to door, until, in the sight of many who wondered 
at the vengeance of God, she terminated her wretched life by 
a miserable death. 

Of ano'her miracle which was wrought on the cutting of a loaf of bread. 

About this same time, a certain labourer in the county of 
Northumberland ordered his wife to bake some bread on the 
Saturday for eating on the morrow ; the woman obeyed the 
commands of her husband, and when on the morrow, she had 
set the bread before her husband, and he began to cut it. 
there occurred a wonderful and unheard-of event ; for warm 
blood followed the knife as he cut the bread, as if it flowed 
from an animal just slain. This circumstance, after it came 
to the knowledge of the people, hindered many from labour 
on that day. 

How Geoffrey archbishop of York, teas deprived of all his goods. 

About that time, Geoffrey archbishop of York, was, by 
command of king John, deprived of all the emoluments of 
his archbishopric ; for James sheriff of York, and his attend- 
ants, had presumed to attack with violence his manors, and 
the property of the clerks and other religious men, and to 
make a division of their goods; on which the said archbishop 

A. D. 1200.] nuon BISHOP OF LINCOLN. 193 

excommunicated the aforesaid James by name, and in general 
all the other authors of this violence, for which the latter had 
excited the king's anger and indignation against the prelate. 
But the cause of the king's anger against him was manifold ; 
in the first place, because he did not permit the aforesaid 
sheriff to collect in his diocese the tax for the king's use, as 
had been generally permitted throughout England ; secondly, 
because he would not accompany him into Normandy, to 
perform the marriage ceremony between Louis and his niece, 
and to make terms with the French king; thirdly, because 
he had excommunicated the said sheriff, and laid the whole 
county of York under an interdict. 

Of the coronation of hint/ John and queen Isabel at London. 

In this year, king John after settling his affairs on the 
other side of the water crossed over into England bringing 
his wife with him, and on the 8th of October landed at 
Dover; thence they came to London, and were both crowned 
at Westminster by Hubert archbishop of Canterbury, in the 
presence of the nobles of the kingdom ; Geoffrey archbishop 
of York, who had made his peace with the king, was also 
present at this ceremony. About this time too, John sent 
word to William king of Scots to come to him at Lincoln, on 
the day after St. Edmund's day, to satisfy him for his rights 
in England. 

Of the life of St. Hugh bishop of Lincoln, before his obtaining the 

At this time Hugh bishop of Li'ncoln, of reverend memory, 
came from the continent, and being attacked by the quartan 
ague at the Old Temple in London, closed his laudable life 
by a glorious death on the Kith of November ; his holy con- 
versation in his life, which was to all men an instruction in 
morals, and an example of good works, compels us to insert 
a few things about him in this work. This holy man was 
born in a remote district of Burgundy, but was more refined 
in manners than his family, and was much devoted to literary 
pursuits from his youth, and when he was ten years old he 
was entrusted to the regular canons to be instructed in divine 
learning, amongst whom he was regularly instructed both in 
morals and in learning, and after spending sixteen years iu 

VOL. ii. o 

194 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1200. 

the cell he obtained the office of prior, and in that station all 
things went on prosperously with him ; then, determining to 
put a stronger check on the dangerous passions of the flesh, 
he by the Lord's will went over to the Carthusian order. 
Amongst them lie showed himself so kind and affable to nil, 
yet still preserving his religious seriousness, that after a very 
short time had elapsed he was appointed manager of all that 
house. In course of time, when a house of the Carthusian 
order had been established in England by the illustrious 
Henry king of England, who burnt with an ardent desire to 
promote the cause of God, he was prevailed on by the entreaties 
of the monarch to direct his attention to the government of that 
house, and, after he was called to the duties of the priorship, 
he made it his daily study to increase his former sanctity, fur 
which, and by his holy conversation, he gained great favour 
with the king, who often enjoyed discourse with him. The 
king had held in his own hands the church of Lincoln, which 
had been for some years deprived of the care of a bishop ; to 
atone for which offence as well as he could, he procured t'he 
appointment by election of the aforesaid man, Hugh, to the 
government of that church. Afterwards when his election 
was announced to the man of (rod, he replied that he would 
not accept the dignity of the pontifical station, unless it was 
first made clear to him that he did so by the common consent 
of the church of Lincoln, as well as with the permission of 
the Carthusian prior. After he had been perfectly satisfied 
on these points, the dean of Lincoln with the elders of that 
church came to the man of God, and lie at the first interview 
so gained on their regard that they wished for him as their 
pastor and spiritual father with devout and sincere affection; but 
in order that their consent might be more surely made known 
to him they elected him there, and then he for the first time 
agreed to it. Afterwards, when he had been consecrated, on 
the first night in which he slept in his bishopric, after pay- 
ing his devotions lie heard a voice saying to him, " Thou 
hast gone forth to the safety of thy people to safety with 

Of the virtues of llie halt/ man in his episcopacy. 
This consecrated servant of God, Hugh, so illuminated his 
church by his merits, so instructed the people committed to 
his charge by his words and his example, that he showed that 


the name of bishop rightly belonged to him, and putting 
chosen persons into the cathedral church he built a temple to 
God out of those living stones : he also constantly checked the 
attacks of the secular power in matters relating to the church, 
for he seemed to despise the danger to his goods or body, in 
which course he made such progress that he restored many 
rights which had been lost, and liberated his church from a 
most severe servitude. Besides this holy man was accus- 
tomed to enter the houses of leprous people, which he passed 
by, and to kiss all afllicted with leprosy however deformed, 
atid to bestow charity on them with liberality ; on this 
William, of good memory, chancellor of the same church, 
wishing to try if his mind was affected by pride on account 
of this, said to him, " Martin, by his kisses, healed the leper, 
you do not heal the lepers whom you kiss." The bishop 
immediately said to him in reply, " Martin's kiss healed the 
leper's flesh, but the leper's kiss heals my spirit." In burying 
the dead he so diligently fulfilled the duties of humanity, that 
lie never neglected any dead body, to whose burial he 
thought it his duty to attend. Once, when this holy man 
was attending to the care of his flock, visiting some parishes, 
and amongst others had arrived at a town called Alcmunde- 
beri, the parents of a certain child came to him, bringing 
their almost lifeless little one with them, and with tears 
besought his assistance. On the bishop asking what they 
wanted, the child's mother replied, " This our little boy took 
in his hand a piece of iron more than an inch in length and 
thickness, and, as a child does, put it into his mouth and 
swallowed it, but it stuck fast in his throat and is killing the 
child : wherefore, holy father, the Lord has sent you to restore 
to us our child, who is now panting at the point of death. 
The bishop looking on the child touched his tongue, and pro- 
nouncing a blessing, breathed on it, and after marking it with 
the sign of the cross, gave him back to his parents ; and on 
their taking him from the bishop the iron leaped forth all 
bloody, and the boy was cured from that hour. On another 
occasion too, when the holy man was passing through a town 
called (Vstrehunte, the relatives of a certain madman, who 
had been for three weeks obliged to be restrained by bonds, 
begged of him to visit and bless him? on hearing which the 
holy man dismounted from his horse and went to the inad- 


196 KOGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1200. 

man, who had his head bound to a post, and his hands and 
feet on each side made fast to stakes. The bishop blessed 
some water which was brought him, and when the insane 
man put out his tongue as if deriding him, he sprinkled some 
of the water on it ; he then read over the madman the part 
of the Gospel, " In the beginning was the word," and after 
giving him his blessing departed. When he was gone, the 
diseased man began to sleep, and when he awoke he was 
restored to his former state of health. About this time this 
pious priest happened to be at Lincoln, assisting in the work 
of the mother church there, which he had nobly built from 
its foundations ; and whilst he was carrying stones and 
mortar in a hod on his shoulders, as was often his custom, a 
certain man, lame in both legs, came leaning on two sticks, 
and most earnestly begged to carry the same hod, hoping to 
recover his soundness of limb by the merits of this blessed 
man ; at length he obtained permission from the master of 
the work for the hod to be given to him, and, leaning on his 
sticks, he began to carry stones and mortar in it. But after 
a few days had elapsed, he gave up one stick, and soon after- 
wards the other, and after a little while, becoming strong and 
upright, he carried the same hod in working at the church 
without the support of any stick ; and after he was well he 
so loved that hod, that he declared that it should never be 
taken away from him. At another time in the same city it 
happened that a certain citizen fell into such a state of 
insanity that eight men were appointed to take charge of 
him, and he was confined by bonds, for he was excited by 
such frenzy, that he threatened to tear his wife and his own 
children to pieces with his teeth ; at length he was brought 
tied in a cart to the man of God, who, on seeing him, 
immediately sprinkled holy water on him, and adjured the 
evil spirit to come out of him and not to trouble him any 
more. The insane man suddenly fell to the ground like one 
dying, and the holy man then poured the blessed water on 
him in large quantities. Immediately afterwards the mad- 
man got up, and, raising his tied hands towards heaven, gave 
thanks to God, and to the blessed priest, on which the bonds 
were taken off him and lie went away a sound man. Also a 
certain woman of Lincoln had two sons, one of whom whiUt 
he was yet a boy had a large swelling in his side ; his mother, 


despairing of his health, went to this holy bishop and 
obtained his promise to bless her son. The bishop accord- 
ingly laid his hands on the diseased part, blessed him, and 
sent him away ; after which the tumour was so suddenly 
assuaged, that from that hour it neither troubled the boy, nor 
did the mother see anything further of it. At another time, 
it happened that this same woman's other son was hopelessly 
suffering from jaundice ; but she, remembering her former 
refuge, brought him also before the holy bishop to be blessed 
by him, and this one too, after receiving his blessing, was 
restored to his former state of health within three days' time. 

Hoiv Saint Hutjh departed this life. 

At the end of the fourteenth year of his episcopacy, the 
holy bishop Hugh, on his return to England from the prin- 
cipal house of the Carthusian order, where he had been to 
visit the prior and brothers of that house, at their long- 
expressed desire, was taken seriously ill of the quartan ague, 
at the old Temple, in the city of London. There king John 
came to see him ; but before he left him he confirmed his 
will, at the exhortation of the man of God, and promised in 
the Lord that he would for the future ratify the reasonable 
testaments of prelates. Although his sickness daily gained 
ground, he would not at any one's recommendation lay aside, 
even for a short time, the hair-cloth garment which he 
always wore ; but being the more determined as his death 
approached to abide by the rigorous rules of the Car- 
thusian order, he, at the call of God, departed happily from 
this life to him. When this holy man's body was being 
carried by the citizens of London to be buried at Lincoln, a 
wonderful circumstance occurred ; for the tapers which had 
been lighted before the body on leaving London, burnt con- 
tinually during four days' journey, so that they were not at 
any time without the light of one of the tapers, although the 
weather was often unusually bad, on account of the wind 
and rain ; from this circumstance there is no doubt but that 
the Lord had prepared eternal light for his soul, since, out of 
regard for his body, he did not ]>erinit the temporal light to 
be extinguished. This servant of God, Hugh, bishop of 
Lincoln, died in the year of the incarnate Word 12(K), on 
the 17th of November. 

198 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1200. 

How the Iwlij ff St. Huyh was carried to Lincoln to be buried. 

On the 21st of November, John king of the English and 
William king of Scots met in conference together with all 
the nobility, both clergy and laity of both kingdoms. In 
opposition to the advice of many, king John entered the city 
(Lincoln) boldly, which none of his predecessors had dared to 
attempt, and, on arriving at the cathedral church, he offered 
a golden cup on the altar of St. John the Baptist, which was 
in the new building erected from the foundation by the 
before-mentioned St. Hugh. On the same day, he and the 
king of Scots met on a hill outside the city, and there, in 
sight of all the people, William king of Scots did homage 
to king John for all his right, and afterwards, in the presence 
of all the nobles of the kingdom, swore fealty to him, on the 
cross of Hubert archbishop of Canterbury, for life, for limb, 
and earthly honour, against all men. On this same day the 
body of the most holy bishop Hugh was brought there to be 
buried ; and the said two kings went out to meet it, accom- 
panied by three archbishops, namely, Hubert of Canterbury, 
Geoffrey of York, and Bernard of Ragua,* thirteen bishops, 
earls, barons, and priests without end, and received his most 
sacred body ; and the kings themselves, with the earls and 
other nobles, carried it on their shoulders to the hall of the 
cathedral church. But at the door of the church, the above- 
named archbishops and bishops received it, and by these 
priests it was carried into the choir, where it was honourably 
laid out for the night. This bishop was accustomed in his 
life-time so diligently to perform the duties of humanity in 
burying the dead, that he never neglected any dead body 
whose burial he thought it his duty to attend to ; for which 
reason the Lord, who knows how to reward the merits of the 
just by a fitting recoin pence, allowed him such a distinguished 
burial, that he might seem to be recompensing him by the 
honour of it for his above-mentioned merit. Before the 
burial, however, of this man of God, whilst the funeral 
ceremonies for him were being performed, and he himself 
was, as was the custom with high priests, lying with his face 
uncovered, wearing the mitre on his head, gloves on his 
hands, and a ring on his finger, with other pontifical orna- 

* It is not known who is here meant. 

A.D. 1200.] FUNERAL OK ST. HUGH. 19!) 

ments, a certain soldier, well known to the canons of the 
church, whose arm was eaten away by a cancer till the bone 
appeared deprived of flesh, placed his arm over the body of 
the bishop, and frequently wetted his face witli his tears to 
heal his diseased limb, and immediately the flesh and skin of 
his arm were, compassionately restored by the Lord, through 
the merits of his saint ; for which the soldier returned 
thanks to God and to the holy prelate, and often showed 
himself to the deacon of the church, and other credible 
persons. At the same time a certain woman, who had been for 
seven years blind of one eye, in the sight and to the wonder 
of all, recovered her sight. At the same time, a certain 
cut-purse, in the press and crowd of people which was 
assembled around this servant of God, cut away a woman's 
purse ; but, by the merits of the blessed bishop, who showed 
that he was not dead but alive, both hands of the wicked 
thief were so contracted, and his fingers became so firmly 
fixed to the palms of his hands, that not being able to hold 
the property he had stolen, he threw it down on the pave- 
ment of the church, and, looking like a madman, he became 
an object of derision to the people ; and so, after he had 
been disturbed by an evil spirit for a length of time, he 
came to himself, and stood motionless: at length he began 
to weep bitterly, and in the hearing of all, he then confessed 
his most base crime to all who would listen to him. At 
length, when he had no other means of escape, he turned to 
a priest, saying, " Pity me, pity me, ye friends of God ; for 
I renounce Satan and his works, to whom I have till now 
been a slave ; and pray to the Lord for me, that he may not 
confound me in my penitence, but may rather deal com- 
passionately with me." And immediately, after a prayer had 
been uttered on his behalf to God, the chains of Satan, by 
which his hands had been bound, were loosed, and, becoming 
sound, he returned thanks to God and the blessed bishop. 

Of the burial of St. Hugh. 

When the vigils over the body of the bishop had been 
duly observed, at day-light on the following day, the arch- 
bishops with the above-mentioned bishops, after performing 
mass in the new church which he himself had built in honour 
of Mary, the mother of God, duly consigned his holy body 

200 ROGER OF WENPOVER. [A.D. 1200. 

to the tomb near the ultar of St. John the Baptist ; and they 
performed this duty with such distinction, that it might seem 
ordained by God for them to assemble for this especial 
purpose. He was buried on the 24th of November, SUM! 
miracles continue to be wrought at his tomb, for those 
who sought after them with faith. For after his glorious 
death, a certain boy in some part of Lincoln, who had been 
ill for fifteen days, was, by the increasing power of his 
disease, brought to death's door, and his body suddenly 
became stiff, as though lie had been dead for several days ; 
on seeing which, a woman who was by him closed his eyes 
and laid out his limbs, as is the custom with the dead. 
After he had lain in this manner from the time of cock- 
crowing till day-break, his mother, whose faith even amidst 
her tears had not died with her son, approached the body 
with confidence, and, taking a thread used for making 
candle-wicks, measured the boy's body all over, after which, 
she said with confidence, even amidst her tears, " Even 
though my son had been buried, the Lord could restore him 
through the merits of St. Hugh. As day drew on, they 
prayed and gave alms on behalf of the child's soul, and sent for 
u priest to bury him, although his mother constantly cried 
against it ; but before the priest who was sent for had 
arrived, the mother, anxious for the preservation of her 
child, discovered life in him, whereupon she glorified God 
and the blessed bishop, to whose merits she ascribed this 
miracle. Let these few circumstances concerning the life of 
this man of God, suffice out of many which tend to other 

Of the appearance of Jive moons. 

In this same month, a little before Christmas, about the 
first watch of the night, five moons appeared in the heavens; 
the first appeared in the north, the second in the south, the 
third in the west, and the fourth in the cast, the fifth ap- 
peared in the middle of the first four, with several stars 
round it ; and this last one, with its accompanying stars, 

Matthew Paris adds : " Gilo de Urausc was consecrated bishop of 
Hereford on the '24th of September, at Westminster. Miiuger also wua 
made bishop of Worcester, and John de Grim of Norwich." 


made the circuit of the other four moons five times or more. 
This phenomenon lasted for about an hour, to the wonder of 
many who beheld it. 

How the king and queen of the English leere crowned at Canterbury. 

A.D. 1201. King John kept Christmas at Guilford, and 
there he distributed a number of festive garments amongst 
his knights; and Hubert archbishop of Canterbury, striving 
to make himself on a level with the king, did the same at 
Canterbury, by which he roused the indignation of the king 
in no slight degree. Afterwards the king set out to North- 
umberland, and exacted a very large sum of money from 
the inhabitants of that county. He then returned to Can- 
terbury in company with his queen, and on the following 
Easter-day they were both crowned at that place ; and at the 
ceremony the archbishop of Canterbury was at great, not to 
say superfluous, expense, in entertaining them. On the 
following Ascension-day at Tewkesbury the king issued a 
proclamation, that the earls and barons, and all who owed 
military service to him, should be ready with horses and 
arms at Portsmouth, to set out with him for his transmarine 
provinces at the ensuing Whitsuntide; but when the ap- 
pointed day came, many of them obtained permission to 
remain behind, paying to the king two marks of silver foi 
each scutcheon.* 

* Matthew Paris adds: "In these days a schoolmjister of Paris, by 
birth a Frenchman, named Simon Churnay, a man of extensive talent and 
great memory, after having successfully conducted schools ten years in the 
trivium and the quadrivium which make up the seven liberal arts, turned 
his attention to theology, in which he, after a few years, made such progress, 
that he was thought worthy of the professorial chair : whereupon he pave 
lectures, and held subtle disputations, wherein he ably solved and elucidated 
the most difficult questions ; and he was attended by so many hearers that 
the most ample palace could scarcely contain them. One day when he had 
publicly disputed, using the most subtle arguments about the Trinity, and 
the settlement of the disputation was put oft' till the next day, all the theolo- 
gical students in the city, forewarned to hear so many solutions of difficult 
questions, flocked together in numbers and rilled the school. The professor 
then resolved all the aforesaid questions, inexplicable though they appeared 
to the audience, so plainly and elegantly, and in so catholic a sense, that 
all were struck with astonishment. Some of his more familiar scholars who 
were the most eager to learn, came to him when the lecture was over nnd 
requested him to dictate to them, that they might make notes of his solu- 
t,ons, which they said were too valuable to be lost to posterity. KlatcJ at 

202 KOGER OF VTEXDOVER. [A.D. 1201. 

How king J^hn and his queen crossed the sea to Normandy. 

After keeping the festival of Whitsuntide at Portsmouth, 
the king with his queen embarked on the following day, and, 
after much trouble, arrived in Normandy. Shortly after- 
wards the English and French kings held a conference near 
the isle of Andelys, where terms of peace were agreed on ; 
and three days after king John, at the invitation of the 
French king, went to Paris, and was entertained in the 
palace of that monarch there, who himself took up hid resi- 
dence elsewhere. . After being entertained there honourably 
and as became a king, he left and went to Chinon. At the 
same time, in order that the peace between the kings might 
be more firmly secured, it was determined and confirmed by 
writings, that, if the French king should in any way violate 
the terms of the before-mentioned peace, the barons of the 
French kingdom, whom he had found as sureties for him, 
should be absolved of all fealty to him, and should join the 
king of the English in attacking the French king, and com- 
pelling him to keep the said peace. The same agreement 
was made on the part of the king of England. In this year 
dreadful storms of thunder, lightning, and hail, with deluges 
of rain, alarmed men's minds and did great injury in many 
parts. About this time too, at the instance of pope Innocent, 
the fortieth portion of the incomes of all churches "was given 
in aid of the land of promise ; and the nobles and commoners 
alike, who had laid aside the symbol of the cross, were with 
apostolic severity compelled to resume it. 

this, the professor swelled with pride, and, with eyes uplifted, laughed 
iiloud. 'O my little Jesus, my little .It-Mis, how have I exalted and con- 
firmed your law in this disputation ! Truly, if I wished to act the malignant 
and attack your doctrines, I could find still more powerful arguments to 
weaken and impugn them.' He had no sooner said these words than he 
became dumb, and not only dumb, but ridiculously idiotic, and never read 
or disputed afterwards, and so he became a laughing-stock to his former 
auditors. Within two years afterwards he learned to distinguish the letters, 
and his punishment was a little mitigated, so that he could with difficulty 
learn to repeat the Lord's Prayer und the Creed, and not forget them. 
This miracle checked the arrogance of many of the scholars. Nicholas de 
Fuley, afterwards bishop of Durham, witnessed this fact, and communi- 
cated it to me. From his high authority 1 have set it down in writing, that 
the memory of so great a miracle might not be lost to posterity. It is a 
itory altogether worthy to be received. 1 ' 


Of a diinyr cement tchich arose between the French and Inyli*h kimjs. 

A.D. 1202. King John kept the festival of C'hristmas at 
Argentun in Normandy; and in the following Lent, a con- 
ference was licld between tlie French and English kings 
near the castle of Guletune. At this interview the French 
king, urged by deadly hatred against the king of England, 
indignantly ordered him immediately to give up to Arthur 
count of Brittany, all the possessions which he held on that 
side of the sea, namely, Normandy, Tours, Anjou, and 
Poictou, and required many otehr things from him, which 
the English king refused to comply with. Tin; French king, 
not succeeding in his purpose at the interview, on the follow- 
ing day made a sudden attack on the castle of Butavant, and 
levelled it with the ground ; and marching on from thence he 
by force took possession of the town of Augi, with the castle, 
of Liuns, and several other fortresses ; he also besieged the 
castle of Iladepunt for eight days, but, on the king of the 
English coming upon him, he retired from that place in con- 
fusion. But after a lew days he turned off to Gournaye, and 
by breaking through the lake, caused sucli a rush of water, 
that a great part of the walls which surrounded the city were 
knocked down ; on this all the garrison fled, and the king of 
the French entered and subdued the city without any one to 
oppose him. He then returned to Paris, and placed Arthur 
in charge of safe persons, giving him two hundred French 
soldiers to accompany him into Poictou, that by warlike in- 
cursions they might subdue those districts for Arthur. But 
as this troop was marching forth with a pompous noise, word 
was brought them that queen Eleanor was staying in the 
castle of Mirabeau, attended by a small garrison ; they there- 
fore by common consent directed the fury of their attacks 
against that castle, and laid siege to it; as there was -not 
strength in the garrison to resist them, the castle was sur- 
rendered to them except a tower into which queen Eleanor 
had thrown herself with a few soldiers, and this they could 
not gain possession of. They therefore directed their attacks 
against the tower; and at this place there came to the asMst- 
ance of Arthur all the nobles and soldiers of rank in Poictou, 
and one in particular was Hugh, surnamed I,e Brun, carl of 
March, who was a declared enemy of the English king, on 

204 ROGER OF WENDOVER- [A.D. 1202. 

account of queen Isabel, whom the said earl had engaged as 
his wile by word of mouth before she was married to king 
John ; and thus they formed a large force there, and con- 
tinued the most fierce assaults on the castle in order to gain 
possession of it as soon as possible. 

Of a glorious victory gained by king John at MiraLeau. 

The queen being placed in this predicament, sent mes- 
sengers with orders to use all speed, to the king, who was 
then in Normandy, earnestly beseeching him by his filial 
affection to come to her assistance ; on receipt of this 
intelligence, the king hastily set out with a strong force, and 
travelling night and day, he accomplished the long distance 
quicker than is to be believed, and arrived at .Mirabeau. 
When the French and the people of Poictou learned that 
the king was on his way, they went out with a pompous 
array to meet him, and give him battle ; but when they met 
each other in battle order, and had engaged, the king 
bravely withstood their turbulent attacks, and at length put 
them to flight, pursuing them so quickly with his cavalry, 
that he entered the castle at the same time as the fugitives. 
Then a most severe conflict took place inside the walls of 
the castle, but was soon determined by the laudable valour 
of the English ; in the conflict there two hundred French 
knights were taken prisoners, and all the nobles in Poictou 
and Anjou, together with Arthur himself, so that not one 
out of the whole number escaped who could return and tell 
the misfortune to the rest of their countrymen. Having 
therefore, secured his prisoners in fetters and shackles, and 
placed them in cars, a new and unusual mode of convey- 
ance, the king sent some of them to Normandy, and some 
to England, to be imprisoned in strong castles, whence there 
would be no fear of their escape ; but Arthur was kept at 
Falaise under close custody. 

How the French king retired in confusion from the siege of the castle 
of Arquct. 

Whilst these events were passing at the castle of Mirabeau, 
the French king with a large army marched against the 
castle of Arques, and laid siege to it. 80 arranging his 
engines all round it, he for fifteen days endeavoured, by 

A.n. 1202.] DEATH OF ARTHUR. 205 

moans of petraria;, and balistx, to break througb the walls ; 
the garrison, on the other hand, resisting bravely, en- 
deavoured by a continued discharge of stones and arrows 
to drive the enemy to a greater distance ; but as soon as 
the report of the capture of Arthur and his own followers 
reached the ears of the French king, he retired from 
the siege in vexation. In his retreat he destroyed and 
burned every place he came to, and even reduced the 
monasteries of the religious men to ashes : at length he 
reached Paris, and remained inactive there for the rest of 
that year. 

Of the death of Arthur, count of Brittany. 

After some lapse of time, king John came to the castle of 
Falaise, and ordered his nephew Arthur to be brought into 
bis presence ; when he appeared, the king addressed him 
kindly, and promised him many honours, asking him to 
separate himself from the French king, and to adhere to the 
side of himself, as his lord and uncle. But Arthur ill- 
advisedly replied to him witb indignation and threats, and 
demanded of the king that he should give up to him the 
kingdom of England, with all the territories, which king 
Richard possessed at the time of his death ; and, since all 
those possessions belonged to him by hereditary right, he 
alHrmed with an oath, that unless king John quickly restored 
the aforesaid territories to him, he should never enjoy peace 
for any length of time. The king was much troubled at 
hearing his words, and gave orders that Arthur should be 
sent to Rouen, to be imprisoned in the new tower there, and 
kept closely guarded ; but shortly afterwards the said 
Arthur suddenly disappeared.* In this same year, king 
John came to England, and was crowned at Canterbury by 
Hubert archbishop of that place, on the 1-ith of April, and 
after this he again sailed for Normandy. On his arrival 

* " The same year popo Innocent proposed to exact a large sum of 
money from the Cistertian order, for the use of the crusade, as he professed, 
hut in reality to gratify his own avarice. He was, however, admonished by 
the holy Virgin, and in alarm, ceased from his intention. He had also 
ordered the fortieth part of all rents to be collected throughout nil 
England, for the use of tt:e crusaders. About this time died the nobleman, 
William de Sfutcville." M. I'aris. 

206 ROGER OF WEXDOVER. [A.D. 1203. 

there an opinion about the death of Arthur gained ground 
throughout the French kingdom and the continent in general, 
by which it seemed that John was suspected by all of having 
slain him with his own hand ; for which reason many turned 
their affections from the king from that time forward where- 
cver they dared, and entertained the deepest enmity against 

How the nobles of England deserted king John in Xormandy. 

A.D. 1203. King John spent Christmas at Caen in 
Normandy, where, laying aside all thoughts of war, he 
feasted sumptuously with his queen daily, and prolonged his 
sleep in the morning till breakfast time. But after the 
solemnities of Easter had been observed, the French king, 
having collected a large army, took several castles belonging 
to the king of England, some of which he levelled to the 

* " The samp year, the king caused proclamation to he made that the 
legal assize of bread should be observed, under severe penalty. The 
assize was proved by the baker of Geoffrey Fitz-Peter, justiciary of 
England, and the baker of It. de Thurnam ; so that the bakers might 
make a profit of threepence on the sale of every quarter, besides the bran, 
and two loaves for the oven, four oboli for four servants, a farthing for two 
boys, an obolus for salt, an obolus for yeast, a farthing for the candle, 
throe pence /or the wood (fuel), and an obolus for the refuse. When corn is 
sold for six shillings, then the bread from the quartern, white and well- 
baked, shall weigh sixteen shillings of twenty (lora) ; and the bread from 
the whole corn shall be good and well-baked, so that nothing shall be 
deducted, and it shall weigh twenty-four shillings. When corn is sold for 
rive shillings and sixpence, the white broad shall weigh twenty shillings, 
and from all the corn twenty-eight shillings. When corn is sold for five 
shillings, the white bread shall weigh twenty-four shillings, and the bread 
from the whole corn, thirty-two shillings. When corn is sold for four 
hillings and sixpence, the white bread shall be at thirty -two shillings, and 
from all the corn, forty-two shillings. When corn is sold at four shillings, 
the white bread shall weigh thirty-six shillings, and from all the corn, forty- 
nix shillings. When corn is sold at three shillings and sixpence, the white 
bread shall weigh forty-two shillings, and from all the cnrn, forty-four 
hillings. When corn is sold for throe shilling*, the white loaf shall 
weigh forty-eight shillings, and from the whole corn sixty-four shillings. 
When corn is sold for two shillings and sixpence, the white bread shall 
weigh fifty-four shillings, and from all the corn, soventv-two shillings, 
When corn is sold for two shillings, the white bread shall be at sixty 
hillings, and from nil the corn at four pounds. When corn is sold at 
eighteen pence, the white loaf shall weigh seventy-seven shillings, and from 
all the ci/rn at four pounds eight shillings. This proclamation was made 
throughout the whole kingdom/' M. J'aris. 

A.D. 1203.] 8LOTHFULNES3 OF KING JOHN'. 207 

ground, but the stronger ones he kept entire. At length 
messengers came to king John with the news, saying, lin- 
king of the French has entered your territories sis an enemy, 
has taken such and such castles, carries on* the governors of 
them ignominiously hound to their horses' tails, and disposes 
of your property at will, without any one gainsaying him. 
In reply to this news, king John said, " Let him do so ; 
whatever he now seizes on I will one day recover :" and 
neither these messengers, nor others who brought him the 
like news, could obtain any other answer. liut the earls and 
barons, and other nobles of the kingdom of England, who 
had till that time firmly adhered to him, when they heard 
his words and saw his incorrigible idleness, obtained his 
permission and returned home, pretending that they would 
come back to him, and so left the king with only a few 
soldiers in Normandy. Hugh de Gournaye, to whom king 
John had in all honour entrusted the castle of Mont fort, 
delivered it up to the king of the French, and admitted his 
soldiers into it by night, and in this manner, renouncing 
himself his fealty to his liege lord, fled to the king of France. 
In the meantime, the king of the English was staying inactive, 
at Rouen with his queen, so that it was said that he was 
infatuated by sorcery or witchcraft; for, in the midst of all 
his losses and disgrace, he showed a cheerful countenance t<> 
all, as though he had lost nothing. The French king, in the 
meantime, with an immense army, came to the town of Ruyl, 
where there was a noble castle, which he at once surrounded 
with his engines of war ; but after he had arranged them in 
order, even before he had made one assault, Robert Fit/- 
Walter and Sayer de Quincy, the noblemen to whom the 
charge of the castle had been entrusted, delivered it up 
uninjured to the French king, and as the least stone of that 
castle was not damaged, so not one hair of the heads of the 
garrison was hurt; but the king of the French, who \\:^ 
much enraged against them, ordered them to be chained, and 
kept in close confinement at Compiegne, where they \\rre 
retained in disgrace till a heavy ransom was paid for th-'ir 
release. All opposition to him in Normandy and the .I)MT 
transmarine territories having ceased, the French king 
marched through the provinces at will and without hindrance, 
and regained possession of several castles ; he also at this 

208 ROGER OF AVENDOVER. [A.D. 1203. 

time laid siege to the line castle of the Rock of Andelys, 
Richard had built, but by the prowess and incomparable 
fidelity of Roger de Lacy, to whose care that fortress had 
been entrusted, he gained nothing by the siege, except that 
by refusing egress to the besieged, he prevented them from 
obtaining supplies. Whilst these events were passing, some 
of the Normans seceded altogether from the king of the 
English, and others only feigned adherence to him. 

IIoic king John came to England and eroded large sums of money from 
the nobles. 

King John at length seeing his fault, and that he was 
destitute of all military supplies, took ship in all haste and on 
St. Nicholas's day landed at Portsmouth. Then urging 
against the earls and barons as an excuse, that they had left 
him in the midst of his enemies on the continent, by which 
he had lost his castles and territories through their defection, 
he took from them the seventh part of all their moveable 
goods ; and in this act he did not refrain from laying violent 
hands on the property of conventual or parochial churches, 
inasmuch as he employed Hubert archbishop of Canterbury 
as the agent of this robbery in regard to the church property, 
and Geoffrey Fitz-Peter, justiciary of England, for the goods 
of the laity, and these two spared no one in the execution of 
their orders. The French king, when he learnt that the king 
of England had left his transmarine territories, went in great 
strength to each of the towns and castles of the district, 
explaining to the citizens and governors of castles that they 
were deserted by their lord. He also said that he was the 
principal lord of those provinces, and that if the English king 
should ignominiously abandon them, he had no intention of 
losing the superior authority which belonged to him ; where- 
fore he begged of them as a friend to receive him as their 
lord since they had no other ; but he declared with an oath, 
that if they did not do this willingly, and dared to contend 
against him, he would subdue them as enemies and hang 
them all on the gibbet or flay them alive. At length, after 
much disputing on both sides, they unanimously agreed to 
give hostages to the king of the French, for their keeping a 
truce for one year; after which time, if they did not receive 
assistance from the king of the English, they would thence- 


forward acknowledge him as their ruler, and give the cities 
arid castles up to him ; having effected this the French king 
returned to his own territories. 

The promotion of William bishop of Lincoln. 

In the same year Master William, precentor and canon of 
the church of Lincoln, was consecrated bishop of the same 
church at Westminster, on St. Bartholomew the apostle's 
day, by William bishop of London. Gilbert bishop of 
Rochester appealed in favour of his own claim, but did not 
succeed; for Hubert archbishop of Canterbury was lying 
very ill at the time. 

Jlow subsidies for tear were generally granted to (he king. 

A.D. 1204. King John kept Christmas at Canterbury, 
Hubert, archbishop of that place, supplying all necessaries for 
the festivity to the king. After which, on the day after the 
circumcision, the king and the nobles of England met at 
Oxford at a conference, when supplies for war were granted 
to the king, two marks and a half from each scutcheon ; nor 
did the bishops and abbats depart without giving a promise 
to the same effect. 

How the oil of the image of the mother of God wonderfully became flesh. 

In the same year, on the third day before Easter, there 
happened a most wonderful miracle concerning the oil of the 
image of the mother of God at Sardenai, which was as 
follows : it happened in the prison of the Christian soldiers, 
in the castle of Damascus, that a certain soldier took from his 
box a phial, in which he had put some of the oil which drops 
from the image of the mother of God at Sardenai ; but as he. 
looked carefully at the bottle, in which the oil had been put 
as clear and transparent as water, the oil in it appeared to 
become fleshy, but divided into two parts, for one portion 
adhered to the lower part of the phial, and the other portion 
to the upper part. The soldier then took his knife and 
endeavoured to join the upper part to the lower, but as scxni 
as the edge of the knife touched the incarnate oil, drops of 
blood flowed from it to the astonishment of the chaplains, 
knights, and all the other prisoners who were looking on at 
it ; and since many are ignorant of the truth concerning this 

VOL. n. i> 

210 ROGER OF WKNDOVER. [A. D. 1204. 

image of the mother of God, it is most proper that we should 
relate the origin of it, to those who do not know it, to the 
praise of the said mother of God. 

Of the origin of the said imaye, and some of its miracles. 

There lived at Damascus, the capital city of Syria, a 
certain venerable matron, who took the habit of a nun and 
made it her business to serve God most devoutly ; and, that 
she might be more at liberty to perform her religious duties, 
and to avoid the noise of the city, she retired to a place called 
Sardenai, six miles from the above-named city, and there 
building for herself a house and oratory in honour of the holy 
mother of God, she performed the duties of hospitality to 
pilgrims and the poor. Now it happened that a certain 
monk, from the city of Constantinople, came to Jerusalem for 
the sake of devotion and of seeing the holy places, and he 
was charitably received as a guest by the aforesaid nun ; the 
latter, on learning that he was going to the holy city, humbly 
and earnestly besought him to bring with him on his return 
from Jerusalem some image, that is some painted picture, for 
her to put in her oratory, which would show her, when she 
prayed, the likeness of the mother of God, and he faithfully 
promised that he would bring her one. After he had reached 
Jerusalem, he fulfilled his devotional duties, and when they 
were finished he prepared to return, forgetting his promise to 
the nun ; and after he had got out of the city on. his way 
back, a voice came from heaven saying to him, " Why dost 
thou return thus empty-handed? Where is the image thou 
didst promise to take to the nun?" Being thus reminded of 
the thing, the monk returned into the city, and going to a 
place wher images were sold he bought one which pleased 
him, and carried it with him on his return. On his 
reaching a place called Gith, a fierce lion, which lay concealed 
in a den there devouring human beings, came to meet the 
monk on his way and began to lick his feet, and thus under 
the protection of the divine grace he escaped unhurt. After- 
wards he fell into the snares of robbers, and when they were 
about to lay violent hands on him, they were .o frightened by 
the voice of some angel which rebuked them, that they could 
not speak or move at all. Then the monk, looking at the 
image which he held, knew that some divine virtue lay con- 


cealed in it ; and then he vainly troubled himself in deli- 
berating how he could cheat the nun, and carry the image 
away with him to his own country. On his arrival at the 
city of Acre, he went on board a ship, wishing, if possible, to 
return home ; but after they had run with full sails for some 
days, a sudden storm arose, and they were in such peril, that 
every one threw the goods which belonged to him into the 
sea. But when the monk amongst the rest was about to 
commit his satchel to the waves, the angel of the Lord said to 
him, " Do not do thus, but lift the image up in your hands 
towards the Lord;" and when he, in obedience to the com- 
mands of the angel, lifted the image on high, the storm 
immediately ceased ; but as the crew did not know where 
they were going they returned to the city of Acre. Then 
the monk learning God's will from the image and desiring to 
fulfil his promise, returned to the nun and again enjoyed her 
hospitality ; she, on account of her frequent guests, did not 
know him, and consequently did not ask him for the image, 
on seeing which the monk again thought of taking the image 
with him on his return home. But early in the morning 
when he had obtained leave to depart, he went into the 
oratory to pray, and when, after having performed his 
devotions, he wanted to go out, he could not find the door ; 
he therefore put the image which he held on the altar of the 
oratory, on which he beheld the door open ; but when he 
again took up the image and endeavoured to go out, he again 
could not find the door. At length when he saw that the 
divine virtue surrounded the image, he put it on the altar of 
the oratory, and going back to the nun, he related in order 
all the wonderful circumstances connected with the image as 
has been related above ; he therefore said that it was the will 
of God for the image to remain there, and be worshipped 
with all due honour. The nun therefore took it, and blessed 
God and his mother, for all that the monk had related to her, 
the monk too determined to pass the rest of his life at that 
same place, on account of the miracles which he knew the 
I.iord had effected by means of the image of his mother. The 
image then began to be greatly revered by all, and all admired 
the great and wonderful works of God in it. 

212 ROQEK OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1204. 

Jfow tlic image of the mother of God entitled oil, 

After these events the nun built a place, that seemed to 
her more honourable in which to put the image, and asked a 
priest, as being more worthy than herself and one remarkable 
for his sanctity, as she believed, to put on his sacred robes, 
and transport the image to the before-mentioned place. He, 
however, was afraid to touch it, because when it had been 
placed on the altar it had begun to drip, and from that time 
it had never ceased to give forth a very clear liquor like oil ; 
the nun had at first wiped this moisture away with a fine 
linen cloth, but afterwards she procured a small brass vessel 
and caught the oil, which she administered to the sick, and 
whenever this was done in the name of the Lord and his 
mother, they were then cured of their diseases and remain in 
health to this time. But when the above-mentioned priest 
approached the image carelessly to take it away, as soon as 
he touched the liquor which flowed from it his hands became 
withered, and after three days he departed to the Lord. 
After this no one presumed to touch the image or to remove it 
from its place, except that nun alone. At length the religious 
woman placed a glass vessel under the image, that the oil 
flowing from it might be caught in that vessel, and kept to 
supply the wants of the sick. 

How tlie same imaye gave forth teats of flesh. 

In course of time a wonderful and hitherto unheard-of 
circumstance happened, for the aforesaid image, in the sight 
of all, produced by degrees breasts of flesh, and began to be 
clothed with flesh in a wonderful way ; so that from the 
breasts downwards it seemed entirely covered with flesh, and 
from this flesh the liquid dropped incessantly. The brothers 
of the temple, during the truce with Saladin, took some of 
this oil to their own houses to distribute it to the pilgrims 
who came there to pray, that they might with reverence exalt 
the honour of the mother of God in the various quarters of 
the world. There are indeed monks in some parts of the 
monastery who perform religious duties, but the dignity and 
authority of the nuns is out of respect to the aforesaid 
woman who first inhabited that place, and built an oratory 
there in honour of the holy Mary, mother of God. 


How a certain sultan recovered his *iyht by the agency of this image. 

It happened at that time that the sultan of Damascus, who 
had been blind of one eye, was attaeked by a disease in the 
eye with which he could .see, and became totally blind; and 
he, hearing of the aforesaid image by which God wrought 
so many miracles, went to the place and entered the oratory ; 
and although he was a pagan, he had faith in the Lord, that, 
through the image of his mother, his own health might lx 
restored, and falling to the earth, he remained prostrate in 
prayer; and when he arose from his devotions, he saw the 
light burning in the lamp which hung before the image of 
Mary the mother of God, and found to his joy that he had 
recovered his sight. He therefore, and all who were with 
him and saw this, gave glory to God ; and because he had 
first seen the light burning in the lamp, he made a vow to 
the Lord, that he would from that time give annually sixty 
measures of oil for the lamps of that oratory, in which he, 
through the merits of the blessed Mary, mother of God, had 
recovered his sight. 

flow Normandy with other transmarine possessions yielded to the rule of 
the French king. 

About that time the French king's army which for almost 
a year had been besieging the castle of the Rock of Andelys, 
had undermined and knocked down a great part of the walls. 
But the noble and warlike Roger, constable of Chester, still 
defended the entrance against the French ; but at length his 
provisions failing him, and being reduced to such want, that 
no one had a single allowance of food, he preferred to die in 
battle to being starved : on which he and his soldiers armed 
themselves, flew to horse, and sallied from the castle : but 
after they had slain numbers opposed" to thorn, they were at 
length taken prisoners, although with much difficulty. Thus 
the castle of the Rock of Andelys fell into the hands of the 
French ting on the 6th of March, and Roger de Lacy with all 
his followers were taken to France, where, on account of the 
bravery which he had shown in defence of his castle, he was 
detained prisoner on parole. On this all the holders of castles 
in the transmarine territories, with the citizens and other sub- 
jects of the king of England, sent messengers to England to 
tell him in what a precarious situation they were placed, and 

214 ROGER OF WEN-DOVER. [A.D. 1205. 

that the time, according to the terms of the treaty, was near, 
when they must either give up the cities and castles to the 
king of the French, or consign to destruction the hostages 
which they had given him. To which message king John 
answered ; and intimated by the same messengers to all of 
them, that they were to expect no assistance from him, but 
that they each were to do what seemed best to him. And 
thus, all kind of defence failing in those provinces, the whole 
of Normandy, Tours, Anjou, and Poictou, with the cities, 
castles, and other possessions, except the castles of Rochelle. 
Thouars, and Niorz, fell to the dominion of the king of the 
French. When this was told to the English king, he was 
enjoying all the pleasures of life with his queen, in whose 
company he believed that he possessed everything lie wanted; 
moreover, he felt confidence in the immensity of the wealth 
he had collected, as if by that he could regain the territory 
he had lost. 

Of the death of Godfrey bishop of Winchester, and the succession of 
Peter de Rupibus. 

On the 1st of April in this same year, in the first watch of 
the night, there appeared in the northern and eastern quar- 
ters of the heavens such a redness, that it was believed by all 
to be real fire ; and what was to be wondered at most, was 
that in the thickest part of this redness there appeared some 
glittering stars ; this phenomenon lasted till midnight. In 
the same year Godfrey bishop of Winchester died, and was 
succeeded by Peter de Rupibus, a man of knightly rank, and 
skilled in warfare ; he was appointed to the bishopric by the 
interest of king John, and set out to Rome ; and, after be- 
stowing his presents there with great liberality, he hastened 
to the church at Winchester to be consecrated bishop. In 
this year too the last day of Easter fell on the day of the 
evangelist St. Mark. 

Of certain remarkable event*. 

A.D. 1205. King John kept Christmas at Tewkesbury, 
but scarcely stayed there one day ; and in the same month of 
January the land was frozen to such a degree that all agri- 
cultural labour was suspended from the 14th of January till 
the 22nd of March, on account of which, in the following 


summer a load of corn was sold for fourteen shillings. About 
Whitsuntide in this same year king John assembled a large 
army, as if he was about to cross the sea, and, although the 
archbishop of Canterbury and many others dissuaded him 
from it, he ordered a large fleet to be collected at Portsmouth; 
he afterwards embarked with only a small company on the 
15th of July, and put to sea with all sails spread ; but, 
changing his purpose, he on the third day landed at Studland 
near VVarham. On his return he took an immense sum of 
money from the earls, barons, knights, and religious men, 
accusing them of refusing to accompany him to the continent 
to recover his lost inheritance. In this year, on the eve of 
St. John the Baptist's day, the castle of Chinon was given 
up to the French king. 

Of the death of Hubert archbishop of Canterbury, and the election of 
the sub-prior of the church at Canterbury. 

On the 13th of July in this same year Hubert archbishop 
of Canterbury died at Tenham, to the great delight of lin- 
king, by whom he was suspected of being too familiar with 
the king of the French. After the death then of the arch- 
bishop, even before his body was consigned to the tomb, 
some of the juniors of the conventual church at Canterbury, 
without asking the king's consent, elected Reginald the sub- 
prior, to be their archbishop, and in the middle of the night, 
after electing him, they chanted the " Te Ueum," and placed 
him fir.-t upon the great altar, and afterwards in the archi- 
episcopal chair ; for they were afraid that if this election 
without the king's consent should reach his ears, he would 
endeavour to prevent their proceeding with it. Therefore in 
that same night the said sub-prior having made oath that he 
would not consider himself elected without the permission 
and special letters of the convent, nor show to any one 
the, letters which he held, took some monks of the convent 
with him, and went to the court of Home. But all this was 
done that that election might be concealed from the king till 
they found out whether they could at the court of Koine 
carry the election they had commenced into effect. But the 
aforesaid archbishop-elect, as soon as lie landed in Flanders, 
disregarding the oath he had taken, openly declared that 
he was elected archbishop of Canterbury, a. id was going 

216 ROGER OF WKN1>OVER, [A.D. 1205. 

to the court of Rome to confirm his election ; he moreover 
showed every one the letters of the convent which he held ; 
believing that by this lie should in no small degree forward tin- 
merits of his cause. Arriving at length at Rome, he forth- 
with made known his election to our lord the pope and his 
cardinals, and openly showing his letters to all, he boldly 
required the pope to confirm his election by the apostolic 
benediction : but the pope answering in haste, said that he 
would take time to consider of it, in order that he might be 
siore assured of the truth of the before-named circum- 

* " About the same time pnpc Innocent wrote the following letter to the 
suffragans of Canterbury, in defence of the monks of that church : 

" ' Innocent, bishop, servant of the servants of (tod, to his venerable 
brothers the suffragans generally of the church of Canterbury, health and 
apostolical benediction. Whereas, in the time of the Jewish law, which, 
as we read, never brought any man to that which is perfect, parents after 
the flesh were held in such honour by their children after the flesh, that 
whoever cursed them was sentenced by the law of God to death, much 
more does it become those who are placed under the law of grace, and for 
whom the doors of Paradise have been opened through the most precious 
blood of Christ, to take heed lest by transgression they incur the sentence 
of damnation, seeing that detriment to the soul is more to be feared than 
anv danger that can happen to the body. If therefore worldly parents arc 
to be held in so much honour, what shall we say of spiritual parents ? Shall 
they not be held superior in honour to earthly parents, in the same propor- 
tion as the soul surpasses the body? We have premised thus much, my 
brethren, inasmuch as, in oui care for your salvation, we fear le*t the 
present tribulation, which has been raised, it is said, by your means, should 
be productive of danger to the soul, concerning the church of Canterbury, 
which you arc bound to reverence as your mother ; and that the detriment 
to the said church be such that it may not be remedied for a great length 
of time. We therefore exhort your brotherhood in the Lord, by these our 
apostolical letters, that you diligently keep in view what concerns your 
honour and the saltation of your souls, and not molest the church of Can- 
terbury your mother, whose' privileges you are bound to defend, lest she 
have cause to complain of you, nnd to say she has nourished sons, who 
have not only not known her, bit have persecuted her most severely. In 
saying these things we have no wisli to detract from your rights, but in pious 
solicitude to prevent you from injuring others on pretence of asserting 
your own claims. May (Jod enlighten your hearts, my brethren, and en- 
able you without contention to pay all obedience to your mother-church, 
and do nothing in defiance of divine or human law, which you would not 
wish others to do towards yourselves. <Jiven at Rome, at St. Peter's, 
Dec. 8, in the 8th year of our pontificate.' " 


Of the election of John bit/top of Norwich, at the request of the 

The monks of Canterbury in the meantime, as soon as 
they heard that their sub-prior had violated his oath, and had, 
as soon as he arrived in Flanders, declared that he was 
elected, thus revealing their secret, were much enraged 
against him, and immediately sent .some of the monks from 
the convent to the king to ask his permission to choose a 
pastor who was suited to them; the king immediately and with- 
out any hesitation kindly granted their request, and speaking 
confidentially to them, hinted that the bishop of Norwich was 
a great friend of his, and that he alone of all the English 
prelates was aware of his secrets ; on which account, he 
asserted, that it would be to the advantage of himself and the 
kingdom, if they could transfer the said prelate to the arch- 
bishopric. He therefore requested of the monks, that they, 
together with his clerks whom he would send to the convent, 
would set forth this his request to them, and promised to 
confer many honours on the convent if they should determine 
to listen to him. The monks on their return home related the 
commands of the king to the other inmates of the convent, 
and they assembled thereupon in the chapter-house, and in 
order to conciliate the king, whom they had offended, they 
there unanimously elected John bishop of Norwich, and at 
once sent some monks of the convent to the archbishop elect, 
who was at York managing the king's business, to tell him to 
come with all haste to Canterbury. The messengers hastened 
on the prescribed journey, and found the said bishop at 
Nottingham ; and he at once settled the king's business and 
hurried to tho southern provinces, where he met with the 
king, and they set out together for Canterbury. On the 
following day, a great multitude assembled in the metropolitan 
church, and the prior of Canterbury, in the king's presence, 
openly announced to all the election of John de Grai bishop 
of Norwich; then the monks taking him up carried him to 
the great altar chanting the " Te Deum," and finally placed 
him in the arcbiepiscopal chair. After all this ceremony tin- 
king put the archbishop elect into possession of all property 
belonging to the archbishopric, and all returned to their 
homes ; and thus in this election a new kind of error was 
made, worse than the former one, as the result plainly shows. 


Of ihe controversy between the suffragan bishops of the church of Canter- 
bury and the monks of the tame place, about the choice of an urrti bishop. 

A. n. 1206. King John kept Christmas at Oxford; and 
about the same time sent some monks of the church of 
Canterbury, amongst whom, in particular, was Master Elms 
de Brantfield, to the court of Rome, and supplied them with 
large presents from the treasury in order to obtain from our 
lord the pope the confirmation of the election of John bishop 
of Norwich. At the same time, too, the suffragan bishops of 
the church of Canterbury sent agents to Rome to lay a 
serious complaint before our lord the pope, namely, that the 
monks of Canterbury had audaciously presumed to make 
election of an archbishop without them, although they ought, 
by common right and ancient custom, to have been present 
at the election as well as the monks ; the said agents also set 
forth, decrees and examples on the foregoing matters, bring- 
ing some witnesses, and producing testimonials, whereby they 
endeavoured to show that they, the said suffragans, had 
chosen three metropolitans conjointly with the monks. The 
monks, on the contrary, asserted, that, by a special privilege 
of the Roman pontiffs, and by a proved and old custom, they 
had been accustomed to make elections without the bishops, 
and promised to prove this by fitting witnesses. After the 
allegations on botli sides had been heard, and the witnesses 
admitted and carefully examined, the 21st of December was 
fixed on by our lord the pope for declaring judgment between 
the parties, and that they were then to come and hear what 
the law appointed. 

How king John crossed over to Poictou and took forcible possession, of the 
castle of Afontauban. 

At Whitsuntide of this same year king John assembled a 
large army at Portsmouth, and taking ship on the 2oth of 
June, he landed on the 9th of July at Rochelle ; on hearing 
which the inhabitants of those provinces were delighted, and, 
instantly flying to the king, gave him sure promises of money 
and assistance. After this then he marched forward with 
more confidence, and subdued a great portion of that territory. 
At length he arrived at the noble castle of Montauban, in 
which all the warlike nobles of that district, and especially 
his own enemies were shut up, and immediately disposed his 


engines of war around it. And when, after fifteen days, they 
had destroyed a great part of the castle by the incessant 
assaults of their petrariae, and the. missiles from their 
balistas and slings, the English soldiers, who were greatly 
renowned in that kind of warfare, scaled the walls and 
exchanged mortal blows with their enemies. After some 
time the English prevailed, and the garrison failing, the well- 
fortified eastle of Montauban was taken, a castle which at 
one time Charlemagne could not subdue after a seven years' 
siege ; and the names of the nobles and illustrious men who 
were taken in the eastle with their horses, arms, and spoils 
innumerable, the English king afterwards mentioned by 
letter to the justiciaries, bishops, and other nobles of England. 
This castle was taken on the day of St. Peter's " ad vineula." 
(August 1.) 

Of the Icgateship of John of Ferentlno, to England. 

In the same year John of Ferentino, legate of the apostolic 
see, came into England, and travelling through it collected 
large sums of money, and at length, on the day after St. Luke 
the evangelist, he held a council at Reading ; after 
which the hasty traveller packed up his baggage and started 
for the sea coast, where he bade farewell to England. About 
this time, too, some religious men of foreign parts anxiously 
interfered to make peace between the kings, and on All 
Saints' day they obtained from them a promise to keep a 
truce for two years. King John therefore returned lo 
England, and landed at Portsmouth on the 12th of December. 
On the eve of Ascension day in this same year William 
bishop of Lincoln departed this life ; and in this year Jocelyn 
of Wells, who had been elected bishop of Bath by the agency 
of William bishop of London, received the blessing of con- 

Tlie definitive sentence of pope Innocent tri/A regard to Ihc monks vf tht 
church of (.Canterbury. 

About that time pope Innocent sent his definitive sentence 
to the suffragan bishops of the church of Canterbury, to this 
effect : " The authority of the church and an approved custom 
hands it down to us that the greater questions in church 
matters are to be referred to the apostolic see. Since there- 
fore a controversy has arisen between vou and our beloved 

220 PCGER OF WENDOVER. \_A.D. 120u>> 

sons, the prior and monks of the church of Canterbury, as to 
the right of choosing the archbishop ; you setting forth that, 
not only by common right but also by old custom, you ought 
to make the election of the archbishop conjointly with them ; 
and they, on the contrary, answering that, by a common 
right and special privilege, as also by an old and approved 
custom, they ought to elect the archbishop of Canterbury 
without you ; on the cause of dispute being lawfully argued 
by proper agents before us, we have carefully heard what both 
parties have set forth in our presence. Your party has set forth 
both decrees and examples, bringing forward also some wit- 
nesses, and showing testimonials by which you attempted to 
prove that you had chosen three metropolitans conjointly with 
them ; whilst it was proved by letters and evidence that you in 
another place and at another time had not made elections of 
this kind without them. But the witnesses brought forward 
on the part of the monks have legitimately proved that the 
prior and convent of the church of Canterbury have, from 
times long past up to this time, made elections of bishops in 
their chapter-house without you, and have obtained con- 
firmation of those elections from the apostolic see. By us 
and our predecessors it is laid down in the book of our 
privileges, that, at the decease of an archbishop of Canter- 
bury, no one should be appointed to his place by any fraud 
or violence, but one whom the majority of the monks of 
sound judgment shall in the Lord according to the 
provisions of the holy canons determine to elect. There- 
fore, having heard, and clearly understanding all that has 
been alleged to us, since it plainly appears by your own 
assertions, that you ought not to make an election without 
them, and when the monks are excluded from it your election 
is not valid ; and also that an election of the monks made 
without you, inasmuch as it was worthy of being confirmed 
by the apostolic see, was valid, and since in either case it 
must of necessity be confirmed, we, by the common advice of 
our brethren, for ever impose silence on you as to the right 
of choosing an archbishop, and by this our definitive decree 
absolve the monks of Canterbury from all attack and annoy- 
ance on the part of you and your successors ; and also by our 
apostolic authority, decree that the monks of the church of 
Canterbury and their successors shall in future elect an arch- 

A.f}. 1200.] VISION OF PURGATORY. 221 

bishop without you. Given at St. Peter's, at Rome, this 
21st day of December, in the ninth year of our pontificate." 

Of a vision of punjatory, the punishment of the wicked, and the ylory (,f 
the blessed. 

In this year, a certain man of simple habits, and hospitable 
as far as his humble means would allow, who lived in a town 
called Timsted,* in the bishopric of London, was employed, 
after the hour of evening prayer, on the eve of the day of 
the apostles St. Simon and St. Jude, in draining his field, 
which he had sown that day, when, raising his eyes, he saw a 
man hastening to him from a distance ; after looking at him, 
he began the Lord's prayer, when the stranger stepping up 
to him, asked him to finish his prayer and speak to him : 
and, accordingly, as soon as his prayer was ended, they ex- 
changed mutual greetings. After this, the man who had 
eome to him asked him where, amongst the neighbours, he 
could meet with a suitable lodging for that night ; but when 
the questioned person extolled the great hospitality of his 
neighbours, the inquirer found fault with the hospitality of 
some who were named. The labourer then understanding 
that the stranger was acquainted with his neighbours, eagerly 
asked him to accept of a lodging with him, on which the 
stranger said to him, " Your wife has already received two 
poor women to lodge with her, and I too will turn to your 
house for to-night, in order that I may lead you to your 
lord, namely saint James, to whom thou hast even now 
devoutly prayed ; for I am Julian the entertainer, and have 
been sent on your behalf, to disclose to you by divine means 
certain things which are hidden from men in the flesh : 
therefore, proceed to your house, and endeavour to prepare 
yourself for a journey." After these words, the man who 
was conversing with him, disappeared from the spot. But 
Turchill, for that was the labourer's name, hurried home, 
washed his head and feet, and found the two women enter- 
tained there, as St. Julian had foretold. Afterwards he 
threw himself on a bed which he had prepared in his house, 
apart from his wife, for the sake of continence, and slept 
outside the room ; and as soon as all the members of the 
household were asleep, St. .Julian woke the man, and said, 
Perhaps "Twinsted " in Essex. 

222 ROGER OF WENDOVKR. [A.D. 1206. 

" Here I am, as I promised ; it is time for us to be going. 
Let your body rest on the bed, it is only your spirit which 
is to go with me ; and, that your body may not appear to be 
dead, I will inspire into you the breath of life." In this 
way they both left the house, St. Julian leading the way, and 
Turchill following. 

How the man being released from the body was taken to a certain church, 
where there teas an assemblage of spirits. 

After they had travelled to the middle of the world, 
as the man's guide said it was, towards the east, they 
entered a church of wonderful structure, the roof of which was 
supported only by three pillars. The church itself was 
large and spacious, but without partitions, arched all round 
like a monk's cloister ; but on the northern side there was a 
wall not more than six feet high, which was joined to the 
church which rested on the three pillars. In the middle of 
the church there was a large baptistery, from which there 
arose a large flame, not burning, yet unceasingly illuminating 
the whole of the church and the places around, like a 
meridian sun ; this brightness proceeded, as he was told by 
St. Julian, from the decimation of the just. When they 
entered the hall, St. James met them, wearing a priest's 
mitre, and seeing the pilgrim for whom lie had sent, ordered 
St. Julian and St. Domninus, who were the guardians of the 
place, to show to his pilgrim the penal places of the wicked 
as well as the mansions of the just, and after speaking thus, 
he passed on. Then St. Julian informed his companion that 
this church AVHS the place which received the souls of all those 
who had lately died, that there might be assigned to them 
the abodes and places, as well of condemnation as of salva- 
tion by the atonements of purgatory, which were destined by 
God for them. That place, through the intercession of the 
glorious virgin Mary, was mercifully designed that all 
spirits which were born again in Christ, might, as soon as 
they left the body, be there assembled free from the attacks 
of devils, and receive judgment according to their works. In 
this church, then, which was called the "Congregation of 
spirits," I saw many spirits of the just, white all over, and 
with the faces of youth. After being taken beyond the 
northern wall, I saw a great number of spirits, standing near 


the wall marked with black and white spots, some of whom 
had a greater show of white than black, and others the re- 
verse; but those who were of a whiter colour re~.nair.ed 
nearer to the wall, and those who were farthest off had no 
appearance of whiteness about them, and appeared deformed 
in every part. 

Of the unjust decimators. 

Near the wall was the entrance to the pit of hell, which 
incessantly exhaled a smoke of a most foul stench, through 
the surrounding caverns, in the faces of those who stood by, 
and this smoke came forth from the tithes unjustly detained, 
and the crops unjustly tithed ; and the stink inflicted in- 
comparable agony on those who were guilty of this crime. 
The man, therefore, after twice smelling this same stink, was 
so oppressed by it that he was compelled to cough twice, and, 
as those who stood round his body declared, his body at the 
same time coughed twice. St. Julian then said to him, " It 
appears that you have not duly tithed your crop, and there- 
fore have srnelled this stench." On his pleading his poverty 
as an excuse, the saint told him that his field would produce 
a more abundant crop if he paid his tithes justly ; and 
the holy man also told him to confess this crime in the 
church openly to all, and to seek absolution from the priest. 

Of the fire, lake, and iridye of purgatory, and of a church situated on 
the mount of joy. 

On the eastern side of this said church was a very large 
purgatorial fire, placed between two walls ; one of these 
walls rose on the north side, and the other on the south, and 
they were, separated by a large space, which extended a 
long way in width on the eastern side, to a very large lake, 
in which were immersed the souls of those who were passing 
through the purgatorial fire ; and the water of the lake was 
incomparably salt and cold, as was afterwards proved to the 
man. Over this lake was placed a large bridge, planted all 
over with thorns and stakes, over which every one was 
obliged to pass before he could arrive at the mount of joy ; 
and on this mountain was built a large church, of wonder- 
ful structure, which was large enough, as it appeared to the 
man, to contain all the inhabitants of the world. Then the 

224 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.l>. 1206. 

blessed Julian conducted him altogether unhurt through the 
aforesaid fire, to the above-mentioned lake, and the two then 
walked together on the road which led from the church 
through the midst of the flames ; no wood material supplied 
fuel to this said lire, but a sort of flame rising, like what is 
seen in a fiercely-heated oven, was diffused over the whole of 
that space, and consumed the black and spotted spirits for a 
shorter or a longer period, according to the degrees of their 
crimes. And the spirits which had got out of the fire de- 
scended into that cold salt lake at the command of the 
blessed Nicholas, who presided over that purgatory ; and 
some of these were immersed over head, some up to the 
neck, some to the chest and arms, others up to the navel, 
some up to the knees, and others scarcely up to the hollow of 
their feet. After the lake, there remained the passing of 
the bridge, which is on the western side of the church, in 
front of the same ; some of the spirits passed over this 
bridge very tediously and slowly, others more easily and 
quicker, and some passed over at will and fast, experiencing 
no delay or trouble in crossing ; for some went through the 
lake so slowly that they stayed in it many years ; and those 
who were not assisted by any special masses, or who had not 
in their life-time endeavoured to redeem their sins by works 
of charity towards the poor, those I say, on reaching the 
before-mentioned bridge, and desiring to cross over to their 
destined place of rest, walked painfully with naked feet 
amidst the sharp stakes and thorns which were set on the 
bridge ; and when they were no longer able to endure the 
extreme agony of the pain, they placed tht-ir hands on the 
stakes to support themselves from falling, and their hands 
being directly pierced through, they, in the violence of their 
pain and suffering, rolled on their belly and all parts of their 
bodies upon the stakes, until by degrees they grovelled along 
to the further end of the bridge, dreadfully bloody, and 
pierced all over ; but when they reached the hall of the 
aforesaid church, they then; obtained a happy entrance, and 
recollected little of their vehement tortures. 

How St. Michael awl the apoitles Peter and Paul apportioned the tpiritt 
to the placet ordained for them by God. 

After then, having beheld all these things, St. Julian and 


the man returned through the midst of the flame to the 
church of St. Mary, and there stopped with the white spirits 
which had lately arrived ; and these spirits were sprinkled 
with holy water by St. James and St. Domninus, in order 
that they might become whiter. Here at the very first day- 
light of the sabbath, came St. Michael the archangel and the 
apostles Peter and Paul, to allot to the spirits assembled 
inside and outside the church the places ordained for them 
by God according to their deserts ; for St. Michael gave to 
all the white spirits a safe passage through the midst of the 
flames of purgatory, and through the other places of punish- 
ment to the entrance of the large church which was built on 
the mount of joy, with a door on the western side always 
open ; but the spirits stained with black and white spots, 
which were lying outside the hall on the northern side, were, 
without any discussion as to their works, brought by St. 
Peter through a door on the eastern side into the purgatorial 
fire, that they might be cleansed by that raging flame of the 
stains of their sins. 

Of the weighing of good and evil. 

The blessed Paul, too, sat inside the church at the end of 
the northern wall: and outside the wall, opposite to the 
apostle, sat the devil with his satellites ; and aflame-vomiting 
aperture, which was the mouth of the pit of hell, burst out 
close to the feet of the devil. On the wall between the 
apostle and the devil was fixed a scale hanging on an equal 
balance, the middle part of which hung without in front of 
the devil ; and the apostle had two weights, a greater and a 
lesser one, shining like gold, and the devil also had two, 
sooty and dark. Then the black spirits approached from 
all directions with great fear and trembling, one after the 
other, each to try in the scale the weight of their deeds, good 
or evil ; for the aforesaid weights estimated the deeds oi' 
each of the spirits according to the good or evil they had 
done. When, therefore, the balance inclined itself towards the 
apostle, he took that spirit and brought it through the eastern 
door which was joined to the church, into the purifying fire, 
there to expiate its offences ; but when the balance inclined 
and preponderated towards the devil, he and his satellites 
at once hurried 1 away that spirit, wailing and cursing the, 


228 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [x.D. 1206. 

father and mother for having begot it, to eternal torment, and, 
amidst great grinning, cast it into the deep and fiery furnace, 
which was at the feet of the devil who was weighing. Of 
the weighing of good and evil in this way, mention is often 
made in the writings of the holy fathers. 

Of a certain spirit which the devil had changed into the form of a hone. 

On the sabbath day near the hour of evening, whilst St. 
Donininus and St. Julian were in the aforesaid church, there 
came from the northern part a certain devil riding with 
headlong speed a black horse, and urging him through the 
many turnings of the place amidst much noise and laughter j 
and many of the evil spirits went forth to meet it, dancing 
about and grinning at one another over the prey which was 
brought to them. St. Domninus then commanded the devil, 
who was riding, to come directly to him and tell him whose 
spirit it was that he had brought ; but the devil dissembling 
for a long time, for the great delight which he experienced over 
the wretched spirit, the saint immediately snatched up a whip 
and severely lashed the devil, on which he followed the saint 
to the northern wall, where stood the scale of the spirits. 
The saint then asked the devil whose spirit it was that he 
was tormenting so by riding ; to which the latter replied that 
" it was one of the nobles of the kingdom of England, who had 
died on the preceding night without confession and without 
partaking of the body of the Lord ; and, amongst the other 
faults which he had committed, his principal crime was his 
cruelty towards his own men, many of whom he had brought to 
extreme want, which he had chiefly done at the instigation of 
his wife, who always incited him to deeds of cruelty. I have 
transformed him into a horse, since we are allowed to turn 
the spirits of the condemned into whatever form we please ; 
and I should have already descended with him into hell, and 
should be consigning him to eternal punishment, if it were 
not that Sunday night is at hand, when it is our duty to de- 
sist from our theatrical sports, and to inflict more severe 
tortures on wretched spirits." After he had spoken these 
words, he directed his look on the man, and said to the saint, 
" Who is that rustic standing with you ?" To which the 
saint answered, " Do you not know him ?" The demon then 
said, "I have seen him at the church of Tidstude in Essex, 

A.D. 1200.] SPOUTS OF DEVILS. 227 

on the feast of its dedication." The saint then asked, " In 
what dress did you enter the church?" He replied, " In the 
dress of a woman ; but when I had advanced to the font, 
meaning to enter the chancel, the deacon met me with the 
sprinkler of holy water, and sprinkling me with it, he put 
me to flight so precipitately, that I uttered a cry, and leaped 
from the church as far as a field two furlongs distant." The 
man and several others also of the parishioners bore witness to 
this same circumstance, declaring that they had heard that 
cry, and were entirely ignorant of the cause of it. 

Of the theatrical sporty of the devils. 

After this, St. Domninus said to the devil, " We wish to 
go with you to see your sports." The devil answered, " If 
you wish to go with me, do not bring this labourer with you, 
for he would on his return amongst his fellow mortals disclose 
our acts and secret kinds of punishment to the living, and 
would reclaim many from serving us." The saint said to 
him, ' Make haste and go forward, I and St. Julian will 
follow you." The demon therefore went on in advance and 
the saints followed him, bringing the man with them by 
stealth. They then proceeded to a northern region, as if they 
were going up a mountain ; and behold, after descending the 
mountain, there was a very large and dark-looking house 
surrounded by old walls, and in it there were a great many lanes 
(platece) as it were, filled all around with innumerable heated 
iron seats. These seats were constructed with iron hoops glow- 
ing white with heat, and with nails driven in them in every 
part, above and below, right and left, and in them there sat 
beings of divers conditions and sexes ; these were pierced by 
the glowing nails all over their bodies, and were bound on 
all sides with fiery hoops. There was such a number of 
those seats, and such a multitude of people sitting in them, 
that no tongue would be able to reckon them. All around 
these courts were black iron walls, and near these walls 
were other seats, in which the devils sat in a circle, as if at a 
pleasant spectacle, grinning at each other over the torturer 
of the wretched beings, and recapitulating to them their 
former crimes. Near the entrance of this detestable scene, 
on the descent of the mountains, as we have said, there was 
a wall five feet high, from whieh could plainly be seen what- 

228 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1206. 

ever was done in that place of punishment. Near this wall, 
then, the before-mentioned saints stood outside looking on at 
what the wretched beings inside were enduring, and the man 
lying concealed between them plainly saw all that was going 
on inside. 

Of a proud man, and his tortures. 

When the servants of hell were all seated at this shameful 
scene, the chief of that wicked troop said to his satellites, "Let 
the proud man be violently dragged from his seat, and let 
him sport before us." After he had been dragged from his 
seat and clothed in a black garment, he, in the presence of 
the devils who applauded him in turn imitated all the 
gestures of a man proud beyond measure ; he stretched his 
neck, elevated his face, cast up his eyes, with the brows 
arched, imperiously thundered forth lofty words, shrugged 
his shoulders, and scarcely could he bear his arms for 
pride : his eyes glowed, he assumed a threatening look, 
rising on tiptoe, he stood with crossed legs, expanded his 
chest, stretched his neck, glowed in his face, showed signs 
of anger in his fiery eyes, and striking his nose with his 
linger, gave expression of great threats ; and thus swelling 
with inward pride, he afforded ready subject of laughter to 
the inhuman spirits. And whilst he was boasting about his 
dress, and was fastening gloves by sewing, his garments on 
a sudden were turned to fire, which consumed the entire 
body of the wretched being ; lastly, the devils, glowing with 
anger, tore the wretch limb from limb with prongs and fiery 
iron hooks. But one of them put fat with pitch and other 
greasy substances in a glowing pan, and fried each limb as it 
was torn away with that boiling grease ; and each time the 
devil sprinkled them with the grease, the limbs sent forth a 
hissing, like what is caused by pouring cold water on boiling 
blood ; and after his limbs had been thus fried, they were 
joined together again, and that proud man returned to his 
former shape. Next, there approached to the wretched man 
the hammerers of hell, with hammers and three red hot iron 
bars nailed together in triple order, and they then applied 
two bars at the back part of his body, to the right ana the 
left, and cruelly drove the hot nail* into him with their 
hammers; these two bars, beginning at his feet, were brought 
up his legs and thighs to his shoulders, and were then bent 


around his neck ; the third bar, beginning at his middle, 
passed up his belly, and reached to the top of his head. 
After this wretch had been tortured for a length of time in 
the manner above described, he was mercilessly thrust back 
into his former seat, and when placed there, he was tormented 
in all parts by the burning nails, and by having his five 
fingers stretched : and after he had been thus taken from this 
place of punishment, he was placed in the abode which he 
had made for himself when living, to await further tortures. 

Of a certain priest. 

A priest was next dragged forth witli violence from his 
fiery seat to the sport, and placed before these inhuman 
goblins by the servants of sin, who forthwith, after cutting 
his throat in the middle, pulled out his tongue, and cut it off 
at the root. This priest had not, when he could, repaid the 
people entrusted to his care for their temporal goods which 
lie had taken from them, by holy exhortation, nor by an 
example of good works, and had not given them the support 
of prayers or of masses. Afterwards, as we have related of 
the proud man, they tore him limb from limb, and again 
restoring him entire, they placed him in a chair of torture. 

Of a certain soldier. 

After him was brought forward a certain soldier, who had 
spent his life in slaying harmless people, in tournaments, and 
robberies. He sat, accoutred with all his weapons of war, 
on a black horse, which, when urged on by the spur, breathed 
forth a pitchy flame, with stench and smoke, to the torture 
of its rider. The saddle of the horse was pierced all over 
with long fiery nails ; the armour and helmet, the shield and 
boots covered with flame, severely burdened the rider by 
their weight, and at the same time consumed him to the very 
marrow with no less torture. After he had, in imitation of 
his former custom in war, urged his horse to headlong speed, 
and shaken his spear against the devils who met him and 
derided him, he was by them dismounted and torn piecemeal, 
and his limbs were fried in the execrable liquid above- 
mentioned ; and after having been fried, they were again 
joined together in the same way as with those who had 

230 KOGEK OP WENDOVER. [A.D. 1200. 

come before, and were fastened by three bars, and when 
thus restored he was violently thrust back into his own seat. 

Of a certain pleader. 

After the soldier, a man well-skilled in worldly law was 
dragged forth into the midst with great torture, which he. 
had brought on himself by a long course of evil living, and 
by accepting presents for perverting judgment. This man 
was well known throughout the English territories amongst 
the higher ranks, but had closed his life miserably in the 
year in which this vision was seen ; for, dying suddenly 
without executing any will, all the wealth that he had 
amassed by his rapacious greediness, was entirely alienated 
from him, and spent by strangers to him. He had been 
accustomed to sit in the king's exchequer, where he had 
oftentimes received presents from both of the litigating 
parties. He, too, being dragged forth to the. sport, in the 
presence of the wicked spirits, was compelled by the insult- 
ing goblins to imitate the actions of his former life; for, 
turning himself at one time to the right, at another to the 
left, he was teaching one party in setting forth a cause, and 
another in replying to it ; and whilst doing this, he did not 
refrain from accepting presents, but received money at one 
time from one party, at another from the other, and after 
counting it, put it in his pockets. After the demons had for 
a length of time looked on at the gestures of the wretched 
man, the money suddenly becoming hot, burned the wretch 
in a pitiable manner, and he was forced to put in his mouth 
the pieces of money, burning as they were, and afterwards to 
swallow them : after swallowing them, two demons came to 
him with an iron cart-wheel, studded all round with spikes 
and nails, and, placing it on the back of the sinner, they 
whirled it round, tearing away his whole back in its quick 
and burning revolutions ; and compelled him to vomit forth 
the moneys which he had swallowed with great agony, in still 
greater torture ; and after he had vomited them up, the. 
demon ordered him to collect them again, that he might in 
the same way again be fed with them ; afterwards, the, 
servants of hell becoming enraged, exhausted on him all the 
tortures which have been mentioned above. The wife of 
this man was sitting in one of the fiery spiked seats, because 


she had been excommunicated in several churches about a 
ring, which she had unknowingly put in her casket, and 
declared to have been stolen ; from which decree she had 
never been absolved, having been prevented by sudden 

Of an adulterer and adulteress. 

There was now brought into the sight of the furious 
demons an adulterer, together with an adulteress, united 
together in foul contact, and they repeated in the presence of 
all, their disgraceful venereal motions and immodest gestures, 
to the confusion of themselves and amid the cursing of the 
demons : then, as if smitten with frenzy, they began to tear 
one another, changing the outward love, which they before 
seemed to entertain towards one another, into cruelty and 
hatred : their limbs were then torn in pieces by the furious 
crowd around them, and they suffered the same punishmwit 
as those who had preceded them. All the fornieators, also, 
who were present, were tormented in like manner, and the 
intensity of their sufferings was so great that the pen of the 
writer is inadequate to pourtray them. 
Of alandrrers. 

Amongst the other wretched beings, two from a company 
of slanderers were brought into the midst, who, with continual 
distortions, gaped their mouths open to their ears, and turning 
their faces on each other, they gazed at each other witli 
grim eyes ; in the mouths of both of them were put the 
ends of a kind of burning spear, eating and gnawing which 
with distorted months, they quickly reached the middle <>f 
the spear, drawing close to each other, and in this manner 
they tore each other, and stained their whole faces with 

Of thieves and incendiaries. 

Amongst others there were brought forth thieves, incen- 
diaries, and violators of religious places, and these were by 
the servants of hell placed on wheels of red hot iron, set 
with spikes and nails, which from their excessive heat sei.t 
forth a constant shower of sparks of fire; on these tin- 
wretches were whirled round, and endured horrific tortures. 

Of the tradesmen. 

Then there came to the spot a tradesman with false scales 

232 ROGER OF WEXDOVER. [A.D. 1206. 

and weights, and also those who stretch the new cloths in 
their shops to such a degree in length and breadth, that the 
threads are broken, and a hole is made, and afterwards, 
cunningly stitching up the holes, sell these same cloths in 
dark places ; these were cruelly torn from their seats, and 
compelled to repeat the motions of their former sins, to their 
disgrace, and as an increase of their punishments ; and 
afterwards they were tortured by devils, in the way we 
have Delated of those before them. Besides this the man 
saw, near the entrance of the lower hell, four courts, as it 
were ; the first of which contained innumerable furnaces and 
large wide caldrons filled to the brim with burning pitch 
and other melted substances ; and in each of these the spirits 
were heaped together boiling fiercely, and their heads, like 
those of black fishes, were, from the violence of the boiling, 
at one time forced upwards out of the liquid, and at another 
times fell downwards. The second court in like manner 
contained caldrons, but filled with snow and cold ice, in 
which the spirits were tortured by the dreadful cold in 
intolerable agony. The caldrons in the third court were 
filled with boiling sulphureous water and other things, 
which emitted a stench mixed with a foul smoke, in which 
the spirits who died in the foulness of their lusts were par- 
ticularly tormented. The fourth court contained caldrons 
full of a very black salt water, the bitter saltness of which 
would immediately take the bark off any kind of wood 
thrown into it. In these caldrons a multitude of sinners, 
murderers, thieves, robbers, sorceresses, and rich men, who 
by unjust exactions oppressed their fellow men, were in- 
cessantly boiling ; and the servants of iniquity, standing 
all round them, pressed them together inside that they might 
not escape the heat of the molten liquid. Those who had 
been boiling for seven days in this burning grease, were on 
the eighth day plunged into the dreadful cold which was in 
the second court, whilst those on the other hand who had 
been tortured in the cold, were put into the boiling liquor ; 
in the same way those, who had been boiling in the salt 
water were afterwards tortured in the stench ; and they 
always observed these changes every eight days. 

A.D. 1206.] THE MOUNT OF JOY. 233 

Of the church tituated on the mount of joy, and of the intercession made 
for the spirits. 

After having seen these things, when the morn of the 
Lord's day was just beginning to appear, fhe aforesaid saints, 
with the man whom they were conducting, proceeded to the 
mount of joy through the purifying fire, and the lake, and 
over the spiked bridge, until they arrived at a hall on the 
western side of the before-mentioned temple, which was 
situated on the mount ; and there was a handsome and large 
gate always open, through which the spirits, which had been 
made entirely white, were brought by St. Michael ; and in 
this hall were assembled all the purified spirits praying with 
all the eagerness of expectation for a happy admission into 
the place. In the southern quarter outside the temple the 
man beheld an infinite number of spirits, all of which, with 
their faces turned to the church, were praying for the assist- 
ance of their friends who were alive, by which means they 
might deserve to gain admission into that church, and the 
more especial assistance they received, the nearer they ap- 
proached to the church. In this place he recognised many 
of his acquaintances, and also all those of whom he had 
the least knowledge in life. And St. Michael informed the 
man about all these spirits, for how many masses each spirit 
could be set free and be permitted to enter the temple. The 
spirits too which were waiting for admission there suffered 
no punishment, unless they were waiting for any special 
assistance from their friends ; nevertheless, all the spirits 
which stood there daily approach the entrance to that church 
by the general assistance of the whole church. 

Of the various stages of the said church. 

This man, being brought into the temple by St. Michael, 
there saw many whom he had seen in life of both sexes in 
white apparel, who were climbing up to the temple and en- 
joying great felicity; and the further the spirits climbed up 
the steps of the temple, the more white and shining they 
became. In that great church were to be seen many most 
beautiful mansions, in which dwelt the spirits of the just, 
whiter than snow, and whose faces and crowns glittered liku 
golden light. At certain hours of each day they hear songs 
from heaven, as if all kinds of music were sounding in har- 

234 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1206. 

monious melody, and this so soothes and refreshes all the 
inhabitants of the temple by its agreeable softness, as if they 
were regaled with all kinds of dainty meats; but the spirits 
which stood in the balls outside did not hear anything of this 
heavenly song. In this place too several of the saints had 
abodes of their own, where they receive with joy those who 
especially serve themselves next to the Lord in any thing, 
that they might afterwards present them in the sight of God. 

Of Paradise, and Adam onr first parent. 

After this they turned aside to the eastern part of the 
aforesaid temple, and eame to a most pleasant place, beauti- 
ful in the variety of its herbs and flowers, and filled with the 
sweet smell of herbs and trees ; there the man beheld a 
very clear spring, which sent forth four streams of different 
coloured water; over this fountain there was a beautiful 
tree of wonderful size and immense height, which abounded 
in all kinds of fruits and in the sweet smell of spices. 
Under this tree near the fountain there reposed a man of 
comely form and gigantic body, who was clothed from 
his feet to his breast in a garment of various colours and of 
wondrously beautiful texture ; this man seemed to be smiling 
in one eye, and weeping from the other. " This," said 
St. Michael, " is the first parent of the human race, Adam, 
and by the eye which is smiling, he indicates the joy which 
he feels in the glorification of his children who are to bo 
saved, and by the other eye which is weeping, he expresses 
the sorrow he feels for the punishment and just judgment of 
God on his children who are to be condemned. The gar- 
ment with which he is covered, though not entirely, is the 
robe of immortality and the garment of glory, of which he 
was deprived on his first transgression ; for from the time of 
Abel, his just son, he began to regain this garment, and con- 
tinues to do so throughout the whole succession of his 
righteous children, and as the chosen ones shine forth in 
their different virtues, so this garment is dyed with its 
various colours ; and when the number of his elect children 
shall be completed, then Adam will be entirely clothed in the 
robe of immortality and glory, and in this way the world will 
come to an end." 


How the man returned to his body. 

After proceeding a little way from this place they came to 
a most beautiful gate adorned with jewels and precious 
stones ; and the wall round it shone as if it were of gold. 
As soon as they had entered the gate, there appeared a kind 
of golden temple, much more magnificent than the former 
in all its beauty, in its pleasant sweetness, and in the splendour 
of its glittering light, so that the places which they had seen 
before appeared not at all pleasant in comparison with that 
place ; and after they had gone into this temple, he beheld on 
one side a kind of chapel, refulgent with wonderful orna- 
ments, in which there sat three virgins shining in indescri- 
bable beauty ; these, as the archangel informed him, were St. 
Catherine, St. Margaret, and St. Osith. Whilst he was thus 
admiringly contemplating their beauty, St. Michael said to 
St. Julian, " Restore this man directly to his body, for un- 
less he is quickly taken back to it, the cold water which 
the bystanders are throwing in his face will altogether 
suffocate him ;" and directly after these words had been. 
spoken, the man, not knowing how, was brought back to his 
body and sat up in his bed. He had been lying on his bed, 
as it were senseless, for two days and nights, that is, from 
the hour of evening of the sixth day of the week, till the 
evening of the Sunday following, oppressed as if with 
a heavy sleep. As soon as morning came he hastened 
to the church, and, after the performance of mass, the priest, 
with others of the parishioners, who had seen him as it were 
lifeless a short time before, besought him to inform them of 
what had been revealed to him ; he however in his great 
simplicity, hesitated to relate his vision, until on the follow- 
ing night St. Julian appeared to him giving him orders to 
reveal all that he had seen, because, he said, that he had 
been taken from his body for the purpose of making public 
all he had heard. In obedience to the commands of the 
saint, he, on All Saints' day, and at times afterwards, related 
his vision plainly and openly in the English tongue, and all 
who heard him wondered at the unusual gift of speech of a 
man who had formerly, from his great simplicity, appeared 
clownish and unable to speak ; and by his continual nar- 
ration of the vision he had seen, he moved many to tears and 
bitter lamentations. 

236 ROGER OF WEXDOVER. [A.D. 1207. 

Hoio Geoffrey archbishop of York went into exile. 

A.D. 1207. King John kept Christmas at Winchester in 
the company of the nobles of the kingdom. Afterwards, at 
the purification of the blessed Mary, he levied a tax through- 
out England of the thirteenth part of all moveable and other 
goods, on the laity as well as the ecclesiastics and prelates, 
which caused great murmuring amongst all, though they 
dared not gainsay it. Geoffrey archbishop of York was the 
only one who did not consent to it ; he openly spoke against 
it, and departed from England privily ; and at his departure he 
anathematized especially all those who were the agents of this 
robbery in the archbishopric of York, and in general against 
all the invaders of the church or the church property. In this 
f*ame year, on the 27th of February, about midnight, a sud- 
den and violent storm of wind arose, which destroyed build- 
ings, tore down trees, and, being attended by immense 
falls of snow, caused destruction to flocks and herds of sheep 
and cattle. In this same year the emperor Otho came to 
England and bad an interview with his uncle, after which, 
and receiving five thousand marks of silver from the latter, 
he returned to his own kingdom. 

About this time there sprang up, under the auspices of 
pope Innocent, a sect of preachers called Minorites, who 
filled the earth, dwelling in cities and towns by tens and 
sevens, possessing no property at all, living according to the 
gospel, making a show of the greatest poverty, walking with 
naked feet, and setting a great example of humility to all 
classes. On Sundays and feast days they went forth from 
their habitations preaching the word of the gospel in the 
parish churches, eating and drinking whatever they found 
amongst them to whom they preached ; and they were the 
more remarkable for their regard to the business of heaven, 
the more they proved themselves unconnected with the 
matters of this life, and with the pleasures of the flesh. No 
sort of food in their possession was kept for the morrow's 
use, that their poverty of spirit which reigned in their 
minds, might show itself to all in their dress and actions. 

The election* of the bithop of \ortrich, and the suit-prior of Canterbury 

About this time the monks of the church of Canterbury 


appeared before our lord the pope, to plead a disgraceful 
dispute which had arisen between themselves; for a certain 
part of theln, by authenticated letters of the convent, pre- 
sented Reginald, sub-prior of Canterbury, as they had often 
done, to be archbishop-elect, and earnestly required the con- 
firmation of his election ; the other portion of the same 
monks had, by letters alike authentic, presented John bishop 
of Norwich, showing by many arguments that the election of 
the sub-prior was null, not only because it had been made 
by night, and without the usual ceremonies, and without the 
consent of the king, but also because it had not been made 
by the older and wiser part of the convent; and thus setting 
forth these reasons, they asked that that election should be 
confirmed, which was made before fitting witnesses in open 
day and by consent, and in presence of the king. When 
this side of the question had been heard and plainly under- 
stood, the pleader on the part of the sub-prior set forth that 
the second election was null and void, inasmuch as, what- 
ever might have been the nature of the first election, whether 
just or unjust, that said first election ought to have been 
annulled before the second was made ; wherefore he firmly 
demanded that the first election should be deemed valid. At 
length, after long arguments on both sides, our lord the pope, 
seeing that the parties could not agree in fixing on the same 
person, and that botli elections had been made irregularly, 
and not according to the decrees of the holy canons, by the 
advice of his cardinals, annulled both elections, laying the 
apostolic interdict on the parties, and by definitive judgment 
ordering, that neither of them should again aspire to the 
honours of the archbishopric.* 

* M. Paris adds : " In fine, this was the cause and fertile source of 
error. The king had given his word by the mouth of twelve monks <>f 
Canterbury that he would accept whomsoever they should elect. Now it 
had been agreed between the king and them, on oath, that they would elect 
no other person than John bishop of Norwich ; and to the same effect they 
also had letters from the king. But the monks themselves, when they 
knew that the election of the aforesaid John was displeasing to the pope, 
were induced by the pope and cardinals to affirm that they could elect any 
one they pleased, and to elect secretly, provided that they made choice of an 
active man, and one who was a genuine Englishman, wherefore they rnose, 
with the pope's advice, master Stephen Langton, cardinal, and equal, if not 
superior, to any in the court for probity and learning. From that time, 
therefore, the pope would not desert him in his manifold tribulation*." 

238 ROGER OF WEXDOVER. [A.D. 1207. 

Of the promotion and consecration of mauler Stephen Langton. 

The aforesaid elections being thus annulled, our lord the 
pope, being unwilling to permit the Lord's flock to be any 
longer without the care of a pastor, persuaded the monks of 
Canterbury, who had appeared before him as pleaders in the 
matter of the church of Canterbury, to elect master Stephen 
Langton, a cardinal priest, a man, as we have said, skilled in 
literary science, and discreet and accomplished in his man- 
ners ; and he asserted that the promotion of that person 
would be of very great advantage, as well to the king him- 
self, as to the whole English church. The monks, however, 
in answer to this, declared that they were not allowed, ex- 
cept by the king's consent and the choice of the canons, to 
consent to any person's election, or to make any election 
without them ; but the pope, as if taking the words out of 
their mouths, said, " You may think that you have plenary 
powers in the church of Canterbury, but it is not the custom 
that the consent of princes is to be waited for concerning 
elections made at the apostolic see ; therefore, by virtue 
of your obedience, and under penalty of our anathema, we 
command you, who are so many and such, that you fully 
suffice for making the election, to elect as archbishop the 
man whom we give you as a father and as pastor of your 
souls." The monks, dreading the sentence of excommuni- 
cation, although reluctantly and with murmuring, gave their 
consent ; the only one out of all of them who would not con- 
sent being master Elias de Brantfield, who had come on the 
part of the king and the bishop of Norwich, the rest of them 
chanted the " Te Deum," and carried the said archbishop- 
elect to the altar. He afterwards received consecration 
from the pope aforesaid at the city of Viterbo, on the 17th 
of June.* 

* M. Paris adds : M About this time pope Innocent, desiring to pain 
John over to favour his plans, and knowing that he was covetous and a 
diligent seeker after costly jewels, sent the following letter to him with 
such presents as may be seen in the same. ' Pope Innocent the Third, to 
John king of the English, greeting, &c. Amongst the riches of the earth, 
which the eye of man desires and longs for as more precious than others, 
we believe that pure gold and precious stones hold the first place. Although 
perhaps your royal highness may a'wund in these and other riches, how- 
ever, as a sign of regard and favour, we send to your highness four gold 
rings with divers jewels. We wish you particularly to remark in these, the 

A.D. 121)7.] STEPHEN LANGTOX. 239 

How pope Innocent sent letters to the king of Hut/land askiny him to receive 
Stephen Langton, already consecrated, an ar* h/As/top. 

After this matter was settled, pope Innocent sent letters to 
the king of England humbly and earnestly asking him to 
receive with kindness master Stephen Langton, a cardinal 
priest of St. Chrysogonus, who was canonic-ally elected to the 
archbishopric of Canterbury, and who tracing his origin from 
his kingdom, had not only gained the title of master in secular 
learning, but also that of doctor in theology ; and especially 
since his life and morals surpassed the greatness of his learn- 
ing, his character would be of no small advantage to the 
king's soul as well as his temporal affairs. Having by 
many arguments of this kind, alike gentle and per.sua.iive, 
done his best to induce the king to consent ; he, by letters 
ordered the prior and monks of Canterbury, by virtue of 
their obedience, to receive the above-named archbishop as 
their pastor, and humbly to obey him in temporal as well as 

shape, number, material, and colour, that you may pay regard to the sig- 
nification of them rather than to the gift. The rotundity signifies eternity, 
which has neither beginning nor end. Therefore your royal discretion may 
he led by the form of them, to pray for a passage from e;irthly to heavenly, 
from temporal to eternal things. The number of four, which is a square 
number, denotes the firmness of mind which is neither depressed in adver- 
sity, nor elated in prosperity; which will then be fulfilled when it is based 
on the four principal virtues, namely, justice, fortitude, prudence, and 
temperance. In the first place, understand justice, which is to be shown 
in judgment ; in the second, the fortitude which is to be shown in adver- 
sity ; in the third, prudence, which is to be observed in doubtful circum- 
stances ; and in the fourth, moderation, which is not to be lost in prosperity. 
By the gold, is denoted wisdom : for as gold excels all metals, so wisdom 
excels all gifts, as the prophet bears witness, ' The spirit of wisdom shall 
rest upon him,'&c. There is nothing which it is more necessary for a king 
to possess. Wherefore the peaceful king Solomon asked wisdom only of 
the Lord, that by those means he might know how to govern the people en- 
trusted to him. Moreover the greenness of the emerald denotes faith ; the 
clearness of the sapphire hope ; the redness of the pomegranate denotes 
charity ; and the purity of the topaz good works, concerning which the 
Lord says, 'Let your light shine,' &c. In the emerald, then, you have 
what to believe ; in the sapphire, what to hope for ; in the pomegranate, 
what to love ; and in the topaz, what to practise ; that you oat-end from 
one virtue to another till you see the Lord in Zion." When these gift* 
were brought into the king's presence, he at first was much pleased with 
them ; but not many days afterwards the pure gold was turned to dross and 
derision, the jewels into groans, and love into hatred, as the following nar- 
rative will show." 

240 ROGER OF \VENDOVKR. [AD. 1207. 

spiritual affairs. When at length the letters of our lord the 
pope came to the notice of the English king, he was exceed- 
ingly enraged, as much at the promotion of Stephen Langton 
as at the annulling of the election of the bishop of Norwich, 
and accused the monks of Canterbury of treachery ; for he 
said that they had, to the prejudice of his rights, elected their 
sub-prior without his permission, and afterwards, to palliate 
their fault by giving satisfaction to him, they chose the 
bishop of Norwich ; that they had also received money from 
the treasury for their expenses in obtaining the confirmation 
of the said bishop's election from the apostolic see; and to 
complete their iniquity, they had there elected Stephen 
Langton, his open enemy, and had obtained his consecration 
to the archbishopric. On this account the said king, in the 
fury of his anger and indignation, sent Fulk de Cantelu and 
Henry de Cornhill, two most cruel and inhuman knights, 
with armed attendants, to expel the monks of Canterbury, as 
if they were guilty of a crime against his injured majesty 
from England, or else to consign them to capital punish- 
ment. These knights were not slow to obey the commands 
of their lord, but set out for Canterbury, and, entering the 
monastery with drawn swords, in the king's name fiercely 
ordered the prior and monks to depart immediately from the 
kingdom of England as traitors to the king's majesty; and 
they affirmed with an oath that, if they (the monks) refused to 
do this, they would themselves set fire to the monastery, and 
the other offices adjoining it, and would burn all the monks 
themselves with their buildings. The monks, acting un- 
advisedly, departed without violence or laying hands on any 
one ; all of them, except thirteen sick men who were lying in 
the infirmary unable to walk, they forthwith crossed into 
Flanders, and were honourably received at the abbey of 
St. Bertinus and other monasteries on the continent. After- 
wards, by the orders of the king, some monks of the order of 
St. Augustine were placed in the church of Canterbury in 
their stead to perform the duties there ; the before-mentioned 
Fulk managing, and even distributing and confiscating, all 
the property of the same monks, whilst their lands and those 
of the archbishop remained uncultivated. The aforesaid 
monks were driven from their monastery into exile on the 
fourteenth of July. 


How the king of Kn gland sent threatening letters to the pnjir. 

After having thus banished the monks of Canterbury, king 
John sent messengers with letters to the pope, in which he 
expressly and as it were threateningly accused him of having 
disgracefully annulled the, election of the bishop of Norwich, 
and of having consecrated, as archbishop of Canterbury, 
Stephen Langton, a man altogether unknown to him, and 
who had been for a long time familiar with his declared 
enemies in the French kingdom; and what redounded more 
to the prejudice and subversion of the liberties which be- 
longed to his crown, his consent was not duly asked by 
the monks who ought to have done so, and he, the pope, 
audaciously presumed to promote the same Stephen ; and he 
asserted that he could not sufficiently wonder that he, the 
pope, as well as the whole court of Rome, did not recollect of 
how much consequence the regard of the English king had 
been to the Roman see till now, inasmuch as more abundant 
profits accrued to them from his kingdom of England than 
from all other countries on this side of the Alps. He added, 
moreover, that he would stand up for the rights of his crown, 
if necessary, even to death, and declared immutably that he 
could not be deterred from the election and promotion of the 
bishop of Norwich, which he knew would be advantageous 
to himself. Finally, he summed up the business by saying, 
that if he were not attended to in the foregoing matters, 
he would stop the track by sea against all who were going to 
Rome, that his territories "might not be emptied of their 
wealth, and he himself be thus rendered less able to drive his 
enemies away from them ; and, as there were plenty of arch- 
bishops, bishops, and other prelates of the church, as well in 
England as in his other territories, who Avere well stored in 
all kinds of learning if he wanted them, he would not beg 
for justice or judgment from strangers out of his own do- 
minions. When all this had been brought to the notice of 
the pope by the king's messengers, that pontiff wrote in reply 
us follows : 

A nswer of our lord the pope to the English king. 

"Innocent bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his 
well beloved son in Christ, the illustrious John, king of the 
English, health, and the apostolic blessing. When we wrote 

VOL. 11. K 

242 nOGEK OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1207. 

to you on the matter of the church of Canterbury, humbly 
and carefully, and with gentle exhortations and requests, 
you, if I may so speak, with all deference to your high- 
ness, wrote in reply to us contumaciously and waywardly, 
with threats and reproaches ; and whereas we defer to you 
more than we ought, you show us less consideration than you 
ought; for if your devotion is very necessary to us, still our 
regard is no less advantageous to you. And, although in 
such a case we have never paid such honour to any prince 
as we have to you, you are endeavouring to lessen our dignity 
in a way that no prince has, in a like case, presumed to do ; 
you set forth some frivolous excuses by which you assert 
that you cannot give your consent to the election of our 
beloved son, master Stephen, entitled a cardinal priest of 
St. Chrysogonus, because forsooth he has been intimate with 
your enemies, and is not personally known to you. More- 
over, as the proverb of Solomon says, 'The net is cast in 
vain before the eyes of birds,' since we know that it is not to 
be imputed as a fault, but rather to be reckoned as a glory to 
him, that, when he was for a time at Paris studying the 
liberal arts, he made such advance in them that he was 
rewarded with the title of teacher, not only in civil acquire- 
ments, but also in theological learning ; and so, whereas his 
life agrees with his doctrines, he was rewarded with the 
prebendal stall in the church of Paris; wherefore, we think 
it a wonder, if a man of such renown, and who derived his 
origin from your kingdom, could, as far as report goes, 
be unknown to you, especially when you wrote to him three 
times after he was promoted to the rank of cardinal by us, 
that, however you were deposed to summon him to your 
service, you nevertheless were glad that he was raised to a 
higher office. But it ought rather to take your attention, 
that he was born in your kingdom of parents who wen; faith- 
ful and devoted to you, and that he had been made a prebend 
in the church at York, which was a far greater and higher 
situation than that of Paris ; whence, not only by reason of 
flesh and blood, but also by his holding ecclesiastical benefits 
and office, he was proved to have a sincere affection lor you 
and your kingdom. But your messengers gave to us another 
reason for your not giving your consent to his election, which 
was forsooth, because you had never been asked for it by 

A.D. 1207.] LETTEH OF THE POPE. 243 

those who ought to have asked your consent to it; and they 
declared that the letters in which we ordered you to send 
lilting agents to us on this matter had not reached you, and 
that the monks of Canterbury, although they had appeared 
before you on other business, had not sent letters or mes- 
sengers to ask your consent to this. Wherefore, the same 
messengers asked with much earnestness, that, as far a* 
it pleased us we would reserve to you the honour that the 
monks of Canterbury should ask the consent of their king, 
since it had not been done, and that we would grant a fitting 
delay for it to be done, that nothing derogatory to your rights 
might happen : putting forth something at last against the 
person of the archbishop elect, which, being done openly, 
ought to have restrained their tongues ; especially as, even if 
true, it could no longer impede his election. Although it is not 
the custom, when elections are made at the apostolic see, to 
wait for the consent of any prince. However, two monks 
were sent to you for the special purpose of asking your con- 
sent, but they were detained at Dover, so that they were not 
able to fullil their instructions ; and the before-mentioned 
letters about the agents were in our presence delivered to 
your messengers that they might faithfully deliver them to you. 
We, too, who hold full authority over this same church of Can- 
terbury, have condescended to ask a favour of a king ; and our 
courier, who delivered the apostolic letters to you, also delivered 
the letters of the prior and monks, who, by command of the 
whole chapter of the church of Canterbury, had made the 
aforesaid election, which were written to ask your consent, and 
therefore we did not deem it our business again, after all these 
circumstances, to ask the royal consent ; but we endeavoured, 
without inclining to the right or to the left, to do that which 
the canonical ordinances of the holy fathers order to be done, 
so that there may be no delay or difficulty in making proper 
arrangements that the Lord's flock may not be longer with- 
out the care of a pastor. Wherefore, let no one suggest it to 
your royal discretion or prudence, that we can in any way be 
diverted from the consummation of this business; since, when 
a canonical election is made according to rule without fraud 
or cunning of a fitting person, we could not, without loss of 
our good name or danger to our conscience, delay the com- 
pletion of it. Therefore, well beloved son, to whose dignity 


244 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1237. 

we have yielded deference more than we ought, endeavour 
to pay proper deference to our dignity, that you may be 
rewarded more abundantly with the grace of God and our 
favour; but perhaps, should you act otherwise, you may 
bring yourself into difficulties from which you will not easily 
bo extricated; for it must be that He is supreme to whom 
every knee is bent, of those in heaven, on earth, and under 
the earth, and whose functions on earth we, although un- 
deserving, are appointed to perform. Do not therefore 
acquiesce in the plans of those who arc always longing to 
disquiet you, that they may fish better in the troubled water, 
but commit yourself to our good pleasure, which will surely 
tend to your praise, glory, and honour ; because it would not 
be safe 1'or you in this matter to show resistance to God and 
the church, for which the blessed martyr and glorious high 
priest Thomas recently shed his blood ; especially, too, since 
your father and your brother of illustrious memory, at the 
time they were kings of England, abjured this wicked custom 
before the legates of the apostolic see. And we, if you with 
proper humility acquiesce in our wishes, will take care that 
no injury shall happen to you in this matter. Given at the 
Lateran in the tenth year of our pontificate."* In this same 
year, on the feast of St. Remigius, Isabel, queen of the English, 
bore to king John her first-born son, and he was named 
Henry, after his grandfather. 

An eclipse of the moon. 

A. r>. 1208. King John kept Christmas at Windsor, 
where lie distributed festive dresses amongst his knights ; 
and on the day after the purification of St. Mary, an eclipse 
of the moon took place, which first appeared of a blood red 
and afterwards of a dingy colour. About the same time 
Philip bishop of Durham, and Geoffrey bishop of Chester, 
paid the debt of nature. In this year, too, queen Isabel bore 
a legitimate son to king John, which she named Richard. 

* "About that time died Simon, bishop of Chiclicstcr. All the property of 
the monks of Canterbury was confiscated on the day of the translation of 
St. Swithun ; but Geoffrey, archbishop of York, secretly fled across the sea, 
not choosing to agree to the exaction of the thirteenth part. An eclipse of 
the sun took place, which lasted from the sixth to the ninth hour, und one 
of the moon too on the same dav." M. J'arit. 


The king of England admonished ly our lord the jx>pe. 

In the same year pope Innocent, on learning that king 
John's heart was so hardened, that lie would not either by 
persuasion or threats be indueed to acquiesce in receiving 
Stephen as archbishop of Canterbury, was touched to the 
heart with grief, and, by advice of his cardinals, sent orders 
to William bishop of London, Eustace bishop of Ely, and 
Mauger bishop of Winchester, to go to the said king, about 
the matter of the church of Canterbury, and to give him 
wholesome counsel to yield to God in this matter, and so 
secure the Lord's favour ; but if they found him contumacious 
and rebellious as he had hitherto been, he ordered them to 
lay an interdict on the whole kingdom of England, and to 
denounce to the said king that, if he did not check his bold- 
ness by that means, he, the pope, would lay his hand on him 
still more heavily ; since it was necessary for him to conquer, 
who for the safety of the holy church had made war on the 
devil and his angels, and despoiled the cloisters of hell. He 
also, by letters of the apostolic see, gave orders to the 
suffragan bishops of the church of Canterbury, and to the 
other prelates of that diocese, that, by virtue of their 
obedience, they were to receive the aforesaid archbishop as 
their father and pastor, and were to obey him with all due 

How England was laid under general interdict. 

The bishops of London, Ely, and Winchester, in execution 
of the legateship entrusted to them, went to king John, and 
after duly setting forth the apostolic commands, entreated of 
him humbly and with tears, that he, having God in his sight, 
would recall the archbishop and the monks of Canterbury to 
their church, and honour and love them with perfect affec- 
tion ; and they informed him that thus he would avoid the 
shame of an interdict, and the Disposer of rewards would, if 
he did so, multiply his temporal honours on him, and after 
his death would bestow lasting glory on him. When the 
said bishops wished, out of regard to the king, to prolong the 
discourse, the king became nearly mad witli rage, and broke 
forth in words of blasphemy against the pope and his 
cardinals, swearing by God's teeth, that, if they <>r any 
other priests soever presumptuously dared to lay his domi- 

246 KOGER OF WENUOVER. [A.D. 1008. 

nions under an interdict, he would immediately send all the 
prelates of England, clerks as well as ordained persons, to 
the pope, and confiscate all their property ; he added more- 
over, that all the clerks of Rome or of the pope himself who 
could be found in England or in Ids other territories, he 
would send to Rome with their eyes plucked out, and their 
noses slit, that by these marks they might be known there 
from other people ; in addition to this he plainly ordered the 
bishops to take themselves quickly from his sight, if they 
wished to keep their bodies free from harm. The bishops 
then, not finding any repentance in the king, departed, and. 
in the Lent following, fearlessly fulfilled the duty required of 
them by the pope, and accordingly on the morning of Monday 
in Passion week, which that year fell on the 23rd of 
March, they laid a general interdict on the whole of England ; 
which, since it was expressed to be by authority of our lord 
the pope, was inviolably observed by all without regard of 
person or privileges. Therefore all church services ceased 
to be performed in England, with the exception only of con- 
fession, and the viaticum in cases of extremity, and the 
baptism of children ; the bodies of the dead too were carried 
out of cities and towns, and buried in roads and ditches 
without prayers or' the attendance of priests. What need I 
say more ? The bishops, William of London, Eustace of 
Ely, Mauger of Winchester, Jocelyn of Bath, and Giles 'of 
Hereford, left England privily, thinking it better to avoid the 
anger of the enraged king for a time, than to dwell without 
any good effects in a country which lay under interdict. 

How king John, on account of the interdict, confiscated all the property 
of the clergy. 

The king of England being greatly enraged on account of 
the interdict, sent his sheriffs, and other ministers of iniquity, 
to all quarters of England, giving orders with dreadful threats 
to all priests a.s well as to those subject to them, to depart 
the kingdom immediately, and to demand justice to be 
afforded him by the pope for this injury; he also gave all 
the bishoprics, abbacies, and priories, into the charge of lav- 
men, and ordered all ecclesiastical revenues to be confiscated ; 
but the generality of the prelates of England had cautiously 
turned their attention to this, and refused to quit their 


monasteries unless expelled by violence ; and when the 
agents of the king found this out, they would not u.-;e violence 
towards them, because they had not a warrant from the king 
to that effect ; but they converted all their property to the 
kind's use, giving tlieni only a scanty allowance of firxjd and 
clothing out of their own property. The corn of the clergv 
was every where locked up, and distrained for the benefit of 
the revenue; the concubines of the priests and clerks were 
taken by the king's servants and compelled to ransom them- 
selves at a groat expense ; religious men and other persons 
ordained of any kind, when found travelling on the road, 
were dragged from their horses, robbed, and basely ill-treated 
by the satellites of the king, and no one would do them 
justice. About that time the servants of a certain sheriff on 
the confines of Wales came to the king bringing in their 
custody a robber with his hands tied behind him, who had 
robbed and murdered a priest on the road ; and on their ask- 
ing the king what it was his pleasure should be done to the 
robber in such a case, the king immediately answered, "lie 
has slain an enemy of mine, release him and let him go." 
The relations, too, of the archbishop arid bishops, who had 
laid England under an interdict, wherever they could be 
found, were by the king's ordcijp taken, robbed of all their pro- 
perty, and thrown into prison. Whilst they were enduring 
all these evils, these aforesaid prelates were sojourning on the 
continent, living on all kinds of delicacies instead of placing 
themselves as a wall for the house of God, as the saying of 
the Redeemer has it, " When they saw the wolf corning, they 
quitted the sheep and fled." 

How king John received the homage of the nobler of England. 

In the midst of these and similar impious proceedings, 
king .John, on reflection, was afraid that, after the interdict, 
our lord the pope would lay his hands on him more heavily 
by excommunicating him by name, or by absolving the 
nobles of England from allegiance to him ; he, therefore, that 
he might not lose his rights of sovereignty, sent an armed 
force to all the men of rank in the kingdom especially those 
of whom he was suspicious, and demanded hostages ot them, 
by which he could, if in course of time they were released 
from their fealty, recall them to their due obedience ; many 

248 TUX;EU OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1209. 

acquiesced in the kind's demands, some delivering to his 
messengers their snns, and others their nephews and other 
relations in the llesh. Wlien they at lengtli came to William 
do Bra use, a man of noble blood, and demanded hostages 
from him, as they had done from others, Matilda, wife of the 
said William, with the .-auciness of a woman, took the reply 
out of his mouth, and said to the messengers in reply, " I will 
not deliver up my sons to your lord, king John, because he 
basely murdered his nephew, Arthur, whom he ought to 
have taken care of honourably." Her husband on hearing 
her speech rebuked her, and said, " Thou hast spoken like a 
foolish woman against our lord the king; for if I have 
offended him in anything, I am and shall be ready to give 
satisfaction to my lord and that without hostages, according 
to the decision of his court and of my fellow barons, if he 
will fix on a time, and place for my so doing." The 
messengers, on their return to the king, told him what they 
had heard, at which he was seriously enraged, and privily 
sent some knights and their followers to seize this William 
and his family ; but lie, being forewarned by his friends, fled 
with his wife, children, and relatives, into Ireland. In this 
same year the white monks, who at the commencement of the 
interdict had ceased their functions, afterwards, at the com- 
mand of the chief abbat of their order, presumed to perform 
sacred duties ; but this piece of presumption coming to the 
notice of the supreme pontiff they were again suspended to 
their greater confusion. 

How the king of the llnylish sent a great sum of money to hit 
nephew Otho. 

A.D. 1209. King John was at Bristol at Christmas, and 
there he forbade the taking of birds throughout all England. 
After this Henry duke of Snabia came from Otho king of 
Germany to Kngland to see king John, and after receiving a 
large sum of money for the said Otlio's use, he returned home 
again. In this year too, by the intercession of Stephen arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, the indulgence, of performing divine 
duties once in the week was granted to the conventual 
churches in England; but the white monks were debarred 
from this indulgence, because, although they hud at the com- 
mencement of the interdict abstained therefrom, they had 

A.D. 1209.] TltKATY OF ALLIANCE. 219 

afterwards, at the bidding of their principal abbat, presumed 
to perform them without consulting tin; pope. About this 
same time, Louis, son of Philip king of France?, and his first 
born and legitimate heir, was by his father made a belted 
knight at Compiegne, and a hundred other nobles with him. 

How the kiny of the Enyliah entered into a treaty of alliance with 
the kiny of Scots. 

About that time king John collected a large force, and 
turned his arms against Scotland. When he came to the 
county of Northumberland, to a castle called Ts'orham, he 
there drew up his army in order of battle against the king of 
Scots ; but when the latter monarch was told of this, he wan 
afraid to engage with him, since he knew the English king's 
proneness to all kinds of cruelty, but he came to meet 
that monarch to treat for peace. But the king of England, 
being enraged, bitterly reproached him with having received 
in his kingdom his fugitive subjects and open enemies, and 
with having afforded assistance and shown kindness to them, 
to the prejudice of him the English king. However when 
John had set forth all these matters to the said king of Scots, 
they entered into an agreement, by which the latter was to 
give to the English monarch twelve thousand marks of silver 
as a security for peace, and should moreover, for the better 
security of it, give him his two daughters as hostages, that, 
by this arrangement the peace might be more confirmed 
between them. The latter king then departed from the 
above-mentioned castle on the 28th of June, and gave orders 
for all the hedges to be burnt and the ditches to be levelled 
throughout the forests of all England, and for the pasturage 
to be laid open for the consumption of cattle. Afterwards 
he received homage from all his free tenants, and even from 
boys of twelve years old throughout the whole kingdom, and 
after they had given their fealty he received them with a 
kiss of peace and dismissed them. And, what had never 
been heard of in times past, the Welsh came to the king at 
Woodstock and there did homage to him, although it was 
burdensome to rich as well as poor. In this same year Otho 
*on of the duke of Saxony, and nephew of the king of 
England, was consecrated emperor of Home by jxtpe Innocent 
on the 4th of October. About this same time a certain clerk, 

250 KOGKU OF WKXDOVER. [A.I). 1209. 

who was studying the liberal arts at Oxford, accidentally 
skew a woman, and when he found that she was dead lie 
consulted his own safety by flight. But the mayor of tin- 
city and several other persons coming up, and finding tin- 
dead woman, began to search for the murderer in his house, 
which he had rented, together with three others his fellow 
clerks, and not finding the murderer, they made prisoners of 
his three fellow clerks, who were altogether ignorant of the 
murder, and thrust them into prison; and a few days after- 
wards they were, by order of the king, in contempt of the 
rights of the church, taken outside the city and hung. On 
this the clerks to the number of three thousand, masters as 
well as pupils, retired from Oxford, so that not one remained 
out of the whole university ; some of these went to Cambridge, 
and others to Reading to pursue their studies, leaving the city 
of Oxford empty. In the same year Hugh archdeacon of Wells, 
and chancellor of the king, was, by the management of the said 
king, elected to the bishopric of Lincoln, and immediately 
after the election was made, he received from the king free 
jurisdiction over the whole bishopric. 

How king John teas excommunicated by name. 

King John had now for nearly two years, as has been 
said before, unceasingly continued throughout England, on 
account of the interdict, a most severe persecution against the 
clergy as well as some of the laity, and had entirely destroyed 
all kind of hope in every one of any improvement or satisfac- 
tion, and pope Innocent could no longer put off the punish- 
ment of his rebellion ; wherefore, by the advice of his 
cardinals, he, in order to cut up by the root such an insult 
to the church, gave orders to the bishops of London, Ely, 
and Winchester, to declare the said king excommunicated by 
name, and solemnly to publish this sentence every Sunday 
and feast day in all tin- conventual churches throughout 
England, that thus the king might be more strictly shunned 
by every one. But after the aforesaid bishops had, by the, 
apostolic authority, entrusted the publication of this sentence 
to their fellow bishops who had remained in England, and to 
the other prelates of the church, they all, through fear of or 
regard for the king, became like, dumb dogs not daring to 
bark, wherefore they put off fulfilling the duty enjoined on 


them by the apostolic mandate, and failed to proceed accord- 
ing to the usual course of justice. Nevertheless in a short 
time the decree became known to all in the roads ami streets, 
and even in the places of assembly of the people it afforded a 
subject of secret conversation to all ; amongst others, a- 
Geoffrey archdeacon of Norwich was one day sitting in the 
Exchequer at Westminster, attending to the. king's business, 
he began to talk privately with his companions who sat with 
him, of the decree which was sent forth against the king, 
and said that it was not safe for beneh'ccd persons to remain 
any longer in their allegiance to an excommunicated king ; 
after saying which, he went to his own house without asking 
the king's permission. This event coming soon after to the 
knowledge; of the king, he was not a little annoyed, 
and sent William Talbot a knight, with some soldiers, to 
seize the archdeacon, and they, after he was taken, bound 
him in chains and threw him into prison ; after he had been 
there a few days, by command of the said king a cap of lead 
was put on him, and at length, being overcome by want of 
food as well as by the weight of the leaden cap, he departed 
to the Lord. 

Of the evil counsel of the wicked Alexander. 

During the time of the interdict a pseudo-theologist, one 
Master Alexander, surnamed the Mason, insinuated himself 
into the king's favour, and by his iniquitous preachings he 
in a great measure incited the king to acts of cruelty ; for he 
said that this universal scourge was not brought on England 
by any fault of the king's, but by the wickedness of his 
subjects ; he also declared that he, the king, was the rod of 
God, and had been made a prince in order to rule his people 
and others subject to him with a rod of iron, and to break 
them all "like a potter's vessel," to bind those in power with 
shackles, and his nobles with manacles of iron. Hy son.e 
specious arguments he proved that it was not the pope's 
business to meddle with the lay estates of kings or of any 
potentates whatever, or with the government of their Mili- 
jects ; especially as nothing, except the power only over the 
church and church property, had been conferred by the Lord 
on St. Peter. By these and the like fallacies, lie so gained 
favour with the king, that he obtained several beneiiecs 

2o2 UOGEB OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1210. 

which had been taken from religious men by the said king's 
violence : but as soon as the perversity of this man came to 
the ears of the supreme pontiff, he was, by the pope's own 
management, deprived of all his goods and benefices, and at 
length reduced to such wretchedness, that he was compelled 
by necessity in the poorest clothing to beg his bread from 
door to door ; and the multitude looked on him with derision 
saying, "Behold the man who did not make God his helper, 
but put his trust in the multitude of his riches, and 
Strengthened himself in his vanity ; let him therefore be 
always before the Lord, that the recollection of him may 
perish from the earth, because he did not call it to his mind 
to show compassion ; therefore the Lord will destroy him to 
the end, and his speech shall be against him as a sin, so that 
his habitation may be blotted out from the land of the 

Of I fie consecration of Hugh bishop of Lincoln. 

In this same year Hugh bishop elect of Lincoln, obtained 
leave from the king to cross over to France, that he might 
receive consecration from the archbishop of Rouen, but as 
soon as he had landed in Normandy, he went to Stephen 
archbishop of Canterbury, and after making his canonical 
submission to that prelate, he was by him consecrated on the 
20th of December. When this was discovered by the king, 
he immediately took possession of all the said bishopric, and 
converted all the emoluments of it to his own uses : he also 
gave up his seal to Walter do Gray and appointed him his 
chancellor, and he made the king's pleasure his business in 
managing all the affairs of the kingdom. 

How the Jews icere compelled to pay a henvy ransom. 

A.D. 1210. King John was at Windsor at Christmas, and 
all the nobles of England were present and conversing with 
him, notwithstanding the sentence under which he was bound, 
a rumour of which, although it had not been published, had 
spread through all parts of England, and come to the ears of 
everybody; for the king endeavoured to work evil to all 
who absented themselves from him. Afterwards, by the 
king's order, all the Jews throughout England, of both sexes, 
were seized, imprisoned, and tortured severely, in order to 
do the king's will with their money ; some of them then after 


being tortured gave up all they had arid promised more, that 
they might thus escape ; one of this sect at Bristol, oven 
after being dreadfully tortured, still refused to ransom him- 
self or to put an end to his sufferings, on which the king 
ordered his agents to knock out one of his cheek-teeth daily, 
until he paid ten thousand marks of silver to him; after they 
had for seven days knocked out a tooth each day with great 
agony to the Jew, and had begun the same operation on the 
eighth day, the said Jew, reluctant as he was to provide the 
money required, gave the said sum to save his eighth tooth, 
although he had already lost seven. 

Of the excommunication of the emperor Olho. 

About that time, Otho the Roman emperor, remembering 
the oath which he had made on his elevation to the empire 
by the pope, namely, that he would preserve the dignity of 
the empire and, as far as lay in his power, would recall its 
scattered rights, caused an inquiry to be made, on the oaths 
of legal men, concerning the castles of his domain, and other 
rights appertaining to the imperial dignity, and whatever was 
found to belong to the throne he endeavoured to convert to 
his own use. On this there arose a serious dispute between 
the pope and the emperor, because when the throne of the 
empire, was vacant, the said pope had taken possession of 
several eastles with other things which pertained to the 
empire; wherefore the emperor, because he endeavoured to 
recover what was his own, aroused the hatred of the pop> j 
without deserving it. The same emperor also seriously 
annoyed Frederic king of Sicily, who had, in the same way, 
when the imperial throne was unoccupied, taken possession 
of some fortified places ; whereupon the said pope by 
messengers and letters frequently warned the said emperor to 
desist from this persecution of the church of Rome, as well as 
from disinheriting the king of Sicily, and the guardianship 
entrusted to the apostolic see. In reply to these messengers 
of the pope the emperor is said to have made this answer ; 
"If," said he, "the supreme pontiff desires unjustly to 
possess the rights of the empire, let him release me from tin- 
oath which he compelled me to take on my consecration to 
the imperial dignity, namely, that 1 would recover the 
alienated rights of the empire, and maintain those which I 

254 ROGEH OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1210. 

had." At length as the pope refused to absolve the emperor 
from the oath which all emperors at their consecration are 
bound to take on the holy gospel, the emperor on the other 
hand refused to give up the rights of the empire, which he 
had, for the most part, recovered by force ; the said pope, 
therefore, pronounced the sentence of excommunication 
against the emperor, and absolved all the nobles of Germany, 
as well as of the Roman empire, from allegiance to him. 

IIoic the kiny of England led an army into Ireland. 

In this same year king John assembled a large army 
at Pembroke in Wales, and set out for Ireland, where he 
arrived on the sixth of June. On his arrival at the city of 
Dublin, more than twenty of the chiefs of that district met 
him in the greatest alarm, and did homage, and swore fealty 
to him ; some few of them however would not do this, scorn- 
ing to come to the king because they dwelt in impregnable 
places. He there made and ordained English laws and 
e.ustoms, appointing sheriffs and other agents to govern the 
people of that kingdom according to English laws ; he ap- 
pointed John, bishop of <XorwicliJ justiciary there, who caused 
a penny to be coined for that country the same weight as the 
English penny, and lie also ordered a halfpenny and a round 
farthing to be coined. The king also ordered that that money 
should be used in common by all, as well in England as in 
Ireland, and that the penny of both kingdoms should be placed 
alike in his treasury. Of the roundness of this money the 
prophet Merlin prophesied "The form of commerce shall be 
divided, and the half will be round." After this the king 
proceeded in great force, and took several of the fortresses of 
his enemies, and Walter de Lacy, a man of noble race, fled 
before him, together with several others, who were al'raid of 
falling into Ins hands. When lit; came to the county of Meath, 
he besieged the wife of William de Brause, and William her 
son, with his wife in a fortress there, and making prisoners 
of them he sent them loaded with chains into England, and 
ordered them to be closely confined in Windsor Castle. At 
length king John, after arranging matters at his pleasure 
throughout the greatest part of all Ireland, embarked tri- 
umphantly, and landed in England on the twenty-ninth of 
August; he then hurried off to London and ordered all the- 


prelates of England to meet in his presence. To this general 
assembly there came abbats, priests, abbesses, templars, 
hospitallers, the governors of villa, of the order of Clunv, 
and of other foreign districts, men of every rank and order, 
and they were all compelled to pay such heavy ransoms, and 
to make so great an expenditure of the church property, that 
the amount of the money extorted is said to have exceeded a 
hundred thousand pounds sterling; the white monks, too, of 
the kingdom of England, exclusive of the rest, after being 
deprived of their privileges, were compelled to pay forty 
thousand pounds of silver to the king in this taxation. In 
this year, too, the noblewoman Matilda, wife of William de 
Brause, and her son and heir William, with his wife, who had 
been imprisoned at Windsor by order of the English king, 
died of starvation at that place. 

How the king of England subdued the Welsh princes. 

A. n. 1211. At Christmas, king John was at York 
in company with the earls and barons of his kingdom ; and 
in this year, too, the said king collected a large army at 
Whitchurch, and marched into Wales on the eighth of July, 
and penetrated in great force into the interior of that country 
as far as Snowdon, destroying all the places he came to ; he 
subdued all the princes and nobles without opposition, and 
received twenty-eight hostages for their submission for the 
future. After these successes he returned, on the day of 
St. Mary's Assumption, to Whilehurch, from which place he 
went to Northampton, and there he met two messengers with 
letters from our lord the pope, namely Pandulph, a sub- 
deacon and a cardinal of the apostolic see, and Durand, a 
brother of the knights of the Temple, who had come for the 
purpose of restoring peace between the king and the priest- 
hood. The king, after advising with the messengers, willingly 
granted permission for the archbishop of Canterbury and the 
monks, as well as all the proscribed bishops, to return to 
their homes in peace ; but as he refused to make good to the 
archbishop and bishops the losses they had sustained, or to 
satisfy them for their property which had been confiscated, 
the messengers returned to France without concluding the 
business. King John, after this, levied a tax on the knights 
who had not been with the army in Wales, of two marks of 

256 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.I). 1012. 

silver for each scutcheon. In this year a man of noble blood, 
the renowned knight Roger, constable of Ciiester, closed his 

How the French king banished Reginald count of lioiilogne. 

About this time Reginald count of Boulogne, a bold and 
warlike man, was unjustly expelled from his county by the 
French king, and deprived of all his property ; and, after his 
expulsion, the said king gave his own son Philip, the same 
county, together with the daughter and legitimate heiress of 
the said count, to be. held by him as his right for ever. But 
count Reginald came to England and was honourably re- 
ceived by king John, from whose generosity he received 
three hundred pounds of landed revenue, on which he did 
homage and swore fealty to the said king. 

Of the death of William de Drause. 

About the same time William de Brause the elder, who 
had fled into France from king John, closed his life at 
Corbeil, and was buried with honours at the convent of 
St. Victor at Paris. In this year, too, pope Innocent, being 
astonished beyond measure at king John's contumaciousness 
in rejecting the wholesome advice of the messengers he had 
sent to treat with him, absolved from all fealty and allegiance 
to the English king, the princes, and all others, low as well 
as high, who owed duty to the English crown, plainly and 
under penalty of excommunication, ordering them strictly to 
avoid associating with him at the table, in council, or con- 
verse. At the time of this interdict the king had most evil 
counsellors, the names of whom, in part, I will not omit to 
mention here ; William brother of the king, and earl of 
Salisbury, Alberic de Vere earl of Oxford, Geoffrey Fit/- 
Peter justiciary, three courtier bishops, Philip of Durham, 
Peter of Winchester, and John of Norwich, Richard Marshal 
chancellor, Hugh de Neville master of the forests, William 
de Wrotham warden of the sea-ports, Robert de Vipont and 
Ivo his brother, Brian de Lisle and Geoffrey de Luci, Hugh 
de Baliol and Bernard his brother, William de Cautelu and 
William his son, Fulk de Cantelu, and Henry de Cornhill 
sheriff of Kent, Robert dc Braybrook and Henry his son, 
Philip d'Ulecote and John de Bassingbournc, Philip Marcy, 

A. n. 1212.] roxsriRACv AGAINST THE KING. 2.37 

castellan of Nottingham, Peter de Maulei and Kobcrt <!c 
Gangi, Gerard de Atie and Engelard his nephew, Fnlk and 
William Briuere, Peter Fitz-Herebert and Thomas Ha.-wtt, 
with many others, to mention whom would be tedious ; and 
all these, in their desire to please the king, gave their advice, 
not according to reason, but as the king's pleasure dictated. 

How the tciny of England kniyhted Alexander son of the kin;/ of Scot n. 

A.D. 1212. King John was at Windsor at Christmas; and 
on Easter Sunday in the Lent following, the said king held 
a "feast at London, at St. Bridget's, in the hospital of Clerk - 
enwell, where, at table, he knighted Alexander, son and heir 
of the king of Scotland. In the same year died at Pontigny, 
Manger bishop of Winchester, who was an exile and pro- 
scribed man for his protection of the rights of the church, 
and his maintenance of justice. 

How the king of England was forewarned of treachery ngnim/ himself. 

About this time the Welsh burst fiercely forth from their 
hiding-places, and took some of the English king's castles, 
decapitating all they found in them, knights and soldiers 
alike ; they also burnt several towns, and at length, after col- 
lecting great quantities of booty, they again betook themselves 
to their retreats without any loss to themselves. When these 
events became known to the English king, he was very in- 
dignant, and collected a numerous army of horse and foot 
soldiers, determining to ravage the Welsh territories, and to 
exterminate the inhabitants. On his arriving with his army 
at Nottingham, before he either ate or drank, he ordered 
twenty-eight youths, whom he had received the year before 
as hostages from the Welsh, to be hung on the gibbet, in 
revenge for the above-mentioned transgressions of their coun- 
trymen. Whilst he was, after this, sitting at table eating and 
drinking, there came a messenger from the king of Scotland. 
who delivered letters, warning him of premeditated treachery 
against him ; soon after which there came another messenger 
from the daughter of the same king, the wife of Leolin king 
of Wales ; this second messenger brought letters unlike the 
former ones, and told the king that the contents were a secret. 
After his meal the king took him aside and ordered him to 
explain the meaning of the letters ; these, although they cani'> 


258 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1212. 

from different countries, were to one and the same etfect, 
which was that, if the king persisted in the war which he 
had begun, he would either be slain by his own nobles, or 
delivered to his enemies for destruction. The king was 
greatly alarmed on learning this ; and, as he knew that the 
English nobles were absolved from their allegiance to him, 
he put more faith in the truth of the letters ; therefore, wisely 
changing his intention, he ordered his army to return home, 
he himself going to the city of London, where, on his arrival, 
he sent messengers to all the nobles, of whose fidelity to 
himself he had suspicions, and demanded hostages from them 
that he might thus find out who were willing, and who 
unwilling, to obey him. The nobles, not daring to disobey 
the king's commands, sent their sons, nieces, and other rela- 
tives at the pleasure of the king, and thus his anger was in 
some small degree assuaged ; however, Eustace de Vesci, and 
Robert Fitz- Walter, who had been accused of the above-men- 
tioned treachery, and were strongly suspected by the king, 
left England, Eustace retiring to Scotland, and Robert to 

Of Peter the hermit and his prophecy. 

About this time there dwelled in the county of York a 
certain hermit named Peter, who was considered a wise man, 
on account of his having foretold to a number of people many 
circumstances which were about to happen ; amongst other 
things, which, in his spirit of prophecy, he had seen con- 
cerning John the English king, he openly and before all 
declared, that he would not be a king on the next approarh- 
ing Ascension-day, nor afterwards ; for he foretold that on 
that day the crown of England would be transferred to 
another. This assertion coming to the knowledge of the 
king, the hermit was, by his orders, brought before him, and 
the king asked him if he should die on that day, or how he 
would be deprived of the throne of the kingdom : the hermit 
replied, " Rest assured that on the aforesaid day you will not 
be a king ; and if I am proved to have told a lie, do what 
you will with me." The king then said to him, " Be it as 
you say;" and he then delivered the hermit into the custody 
of William d'Harcourt, who loaded him with chains, and 
kept him imprisoned at Corfe to await the event of his pro- 

A.D. 1212.] JOHN DEPOSED. 259 

phecy. Thi.s declaration of the hermit was soon spread 
abroad even to the remote provinces, so that almost all 
who heard it put faith in hid words as though his prediction 
had been declared from heaven. There were at this time in the 
kingdom of England many nobles, whose wives and daughters 
the king had violated to the indignation of their husbands 
and fathers ; others whom he had by unjust exactions reduced 
to the extreme of poverty ; some whose parents and kindred 
he had exiled, converting their inheritances to his own uses ; 
thus the said king's enemies were as numerous as his nobles. 
Therefore at this crisis, on learning that they were absolved 
from their allegiance to John, they were much pleased, and, 
if report is to be credited, they sent a paper, sealed with the 
seals of each of the said nobles, to the king of the French, 
telling him that he might safely come to England, take pos- 
session of the kingdom, and be crowned with all honour and 

How sentence of deposition was passed upon king Jo/in. 

About this time Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, and 
the bishops William of London, and Eustace of Ely, went to 
Rome and informed the pope of the divers rebellions and 
enormities perpetrated by the king of England from the time 
of the interdict up to the present time, by unceasingly laying 
the hands of rage and cruelty on the holy church in oppo- 
sition to the Lord ; and they therefore humbly supplicated 
the pope in lu's pious compassion to assist the church of 
England, now labouring as it were in its last extremities. 
The pope then being deeply grieved for the desolation of the 
kingdom of England, by the advice of his cardinals, bishops, 
and other wise men, definitively decreed that John king of 
England should be deposed from the throne of that kingdom, 
and that another, more worthy than he, to be chosen by the 
pope, should succeed him. In pursuance of this his decree, 
our lord the pope wrote to the most potent Philip, king of 
the French, ordering him, in remission of all his faults, to 
undertake this business, and declaring that, after he had 
expelled the English king from the throne of that kingdom, 
he and his successors should hold possession of the kingdom 
of England for ever. Besides this, he wrote to all the 
nobles knights, and other warlike men throughout thcditTcr- 


260 ItOGEIt OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1212. 

ent countries, ordering thorn to assume the sign of the cross, 
and to follow the king of the French as their leader, to 
dethrone the English king, and thus to revenge the insult 
which had been cast on the universal church : he also 
ordered that all those who afforded money or personal assist- 
ance in overthrowing that contumacious king, sin mid, like 
those who went to visit the Lord's sepulchre, remain secure 
under the protection of the church, as regarded their pro- 
perty, persons, and spiritual interests. After this the pope, 
on his part, sent Pandulph, a sub-deacon, with the arch- 
bishop and bishops above-named, into the French provinces, 
that in his own presence- all his commands above related 
might be fulfilled ; Pandulph, however, on leaving the pope 
when all others were away from him, secretly inquired of 
his holiness what it was his pleasure should be done, if by 
chance he should find any of the fruits of repentance in 
John, so that he would give satisfaction to the Lord and the 
church of Rome for all matters in regard of this business. 
The pope then dictated a simple form of peace, and said that 
if John determined to agree to it, he might find favour with 
the apostolic see. A description of the terms of this is here- 
after contained.* 

* " About the same time the king ordered Geoffrey of Norwich, a faith- 
ful clerk of his. a prurient and skilful man. to be seized mid imprisoned in 
the castle of Nottingham, where he was put t > death with the most exquisite 
tortures. On learning this, master William Neccot, a companion of the 
Raid Geoffrey, and a man of great courage, fled into France, and secreted 
himself at Corbeil, that he might not be put to death without cause like 
Geoffrey. About the same time too, king John sent for Faulkes, whom 
he had appointed t<> take charge of some place in the marshes of Wales, 
that he might join him in venting his rage on the barons, knowing that he 
did not fear to commit any crime. This wicked freebooter was a Norman by 
birth, and illegitimate. He even acted much more cruelly against the 
barons than he had been ordered to, as will be related hereafter; and on 
that account the king, becoming favourable to him, gave him in marriage a 
noble lady named .Margaret de Kiparin, with all the lands belonging to her. 
In this same year, on the night of the translation of St. Benedict, the 
church of St. Mary at Southwark, in London, was burned, and also the 
bridge of London between three pillars, as well as a chapel on the bridge, 
besides a great portion of the city, and part of the town of Southwark, the 
fire making it* way across the bridge. Hy tins calamity about a thousand 
people were killed, including many women and children." M. I'aris. 


The return of the archliislinp of Canterbury ami of tlif xai'l bithopx, front 
the apostolic see, an-i the tlenth of Uznffrey arch/ii.ihoj> of York. 

A.I). 1213. King John held his court at Christmas as 
Westminster with only a very small company oi' knights in 
his train ; and about that time died Geoffrey archbishop of 
York, who had been an exile for seven years owing to his 
defence of the rights of the church and his maintenance of 
justice. In the month of January, in this same year, 
Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, find William and Eustace 
the bishops of London and Ely, returned from the court of 
Kornc, and held a council on the continent, at which they 
with due solemnity made known the decree which had been 
sent forth against the English king for his contumacy, to the 
king of the French, to the French bishops and clergy, and to 
people in general ; afterwards, in the name of our lord the 
pope, they enjoined on the king of the French as well as all 
others, that, as a remission of their sins, they should all 
unitedly invade England, depose John from the throne of 
that kingdom, and appoint another, under the apostolic 
authority, who should be worthy to fill it. The king of the 
French, seeing what he had long desired come to pass, made 
his preparations for war, and ordered all his subjects alike, 
dukes, counts, barons, knights, and attendants, equipped with 
horses and arms, to assemble in force at Rouen in the octaves 
of Easter, under penalty of being branded with cowardice, 
and of incurring the charge of treason. He likewise ordered 
all his own ships, and as many others as he could collect, to 
be well supplied with corn, wine, meat, and other stores, 
that there might be abundance of all necessaries for so large 
an army. 

King John's preparations to resist his coming enemies. 

King John, learning, by means of his spies, what was 
going forward in the transmarine provinces, prepared to 
make the, best defence he could against tin; plans prepared 
against him ; he therefore ordered a list to be made of all the 
ships in each of the ports of England, by a warrant which he 
sent to each of the bailiffs of the ports to the following effect : 
"John, king of England, $c. We command you that, im- 
mediately on receipt of these our letters, you go in person, 
together with the bailiffs of the ports to each of the harbours 

262 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1213. 

in your bailiwick, and make a careful list of all the ships 
there found capable of carrying six horses or more ; and 
that, in our name, you order the masters as well as the 
owners of those ships, as they regard themselves, their ships. 
and all their property, to have them at Portsmouth at Mid- 
lent, well equipped with stores, tried seamen, and good 
soldiers, to enter into our service for our deliverance ; and 
that you then and there make a true and distinct list of how 
many ships you find in each port, whose they are, and how 
many horses each ship can carry; and you then inform us 
how many and what ships are not in their harbours on the 
Sunday after Ash- Wednesday, as we had ordered ; and this 
shall be your warrant for the same. Witness, myself, at the 
New Temple, this third day of March." Having thus ar- 
ranged about the ships, the king sent other letters to all the 
sheriffs of his kingdom to the following effect : " John, king 
of England, fyc. Give warning by good agents to the 
earls, barons, knights, and all free and serving men, who- 
ever they be, or by whatever tenure they hold, who ought to 
have, or may procure, arms, who have made homage and 
sworn allegiance to us, that, as they regard us, as well as 
themselves and all their own property, they be at Dover at 
the end of the coming Lent, equipped with horses and arms, 
and with all they can provide, to defend our person and their 
persons, and the land of England, and let no one who can 
carry arras remain behind under penalty of being branded 
with cowardice, and of being condemned to perpetual slavery ; 
and let each man follow his lord ; and let those who possess 
no land, and who can carry arms, come to take service with 
us as mercenaries. And send, moreover, all victualling con- 
veyances, and all the markets of your bailiwick to follow our 
army, so that no market may be held elsewhere in your 
bailiwick, and do you yourself attend at that place with your 
agents aforesaid. And be sure that we wish to know in 
what manner all come from your bailiwick, and who come, 
and who do not ; and see that you come properly supplied 
with horses and arms, so that we may not be obliged to deal 
with you in person. And see that you have a roll, so as to 
inform us of those who remain." On these letters being 
spread abroad throughout England, there assembled at the 
sea-ports in different parts which most attracted the king's 


attention, such as Dover, Feversham, and Ipswich, men of 
divers conditions and ages, who dreaded nothing more than 
the name of coward ; but after a few days, on account of 
their vast numbers, provisions failed them, therefore the 
commanders of the army sent home a large number of the 
inexperienced men, retaining only at the coast the soldiers, 
attendants, and free-men, with the cross-bow men, and 
archers. Moreover, John bishop of Norwich came to the 
king from Ireland with five hundred knights, and a body of 
horse soldiers, and was graciously received by him. When 
the whole of the forces were assembled at Barliam Down, the 
army was computed to consist of sixty thousand strong, 
including chosen knights and their followers, all well armed ; 
and had they been of one heart and one disposition towards 
the king of England, and in defence of their country, then; 
was not a prince under heaven against whom they could not 
have defended the kingdom of England. The king de- 
termined to engage his enemies at sea, to drown them before 
they landed, for he had a more powerful fleet than the 
French king, and in that he placed his chief means of de- 

Pandulph comes to the king. 

Whilst the English king was with his army waiting the 
approach of the king of the French near the sea-coast, two of 
the brothers of the Temple arrived at Dover, and coming to 
the king in a friendly manner said to him, " We have been 
sent to you, most potent king, for the benefit of yourself and 
your kingdom, by Pandulph the snbdeacon and familiar of 
our lord the pope, who desires to have an interview with 
you ; and he will propose to you a form of peace, by which 
you can be reconciled to God and to the church, although 
you have by the court of Rome been deposed from your right 
to the sovereignty of England, and been condemned by 
decree of that court." The king then, on hearing the spet-eh 
of the templars, ordered them immediately to cross the sea 
and fetch Pandulph to him. Pandulph therefore, on this 
invitation of the king came to him at Dover, and spoke to 
him in these words, "Behold, the most potent king of the 
French is at the mouth of the Seine witli a countless ftVot. 
and a large army of horse and foot, waiting till he is 
strengthened with a larger force, to come upon you and your 

264 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1213. 

kingdom, and to expel you from it by force, as an cnorny to 
the Lord and the supreme pontiff, and afterwards, by 
authority of the apostolic see to take possession of the king- 
dom of England for ever. There are also coming with him 
all the bishops who have for a long while been banished from 
England, with the exiled clergy and laity, by his assist- 
ance, to recover by force their episcopal sees and other 
property, and to fulfil to him for the future the obedience 
formerly shown to you and your ancestors. The said king 
moreover says that lie holds papers of fealty and subjection 
tiom almost all the nobles of England, on which account he. 
foels secure of bringing the business lie has undertaken to a 
most successful termination. Consult therefore your own 
advantage, and become penitent as if you were in your last 
moments, and delay not to appease that God whom you have 
provoked to a heavy vengeance. If you are willing to give 
sufficient security that you will submit to the judgment of 
the church, and to humble yourself before Him who humbled 
himself for you, you may, through the compassion of the 
apostolic see, recover the sovereignty, from which you have 
been abjudicated at Rome on account of your contumacy. 
Now therefore reflect, lest your enemies shall have cause to 
rejoice over you, and bring not yourself into difficulties, from 
which, however you may wish to do so, you will not be able 
to extricate yourself." 

Ifoir king John teas aroused to repentance. 

King John, hearing and seeing the truth of all this, was 
much annoyed and alarmed, seeing how imminent the 
danger was on every side. There were four principal 
reasons, which urged him to repentance and atonement; the 
first was that he had been now for five years lying under 
excommunication, and had so ofi'ended God and the holy 
church, that he gave up all hopes of saving his soul ; the; 
second was, that he dreaded the arrival of the French king, 
who was waiting near the sea-coast witli a countless army, and 
planning his downfall ; the third was, he feared, should he give 
battle to his approaching enemies, lest he should be aban- 
doned to himself in the field by the nobles of England and 
his own people, or be given up to his enemies for destruction ; 
but his fourth reason alarmed him more than all the rest, 

A.I). 1213.] CHAKTEIl OF KING JOHN. 265 

for the <lny of our Lord's ascension was drawing near, when 
he feared that, according to the prophecy of Peter the hermit 
mentioned above, lie should with his life the temporal a.-< 
well as the eternal kingdom. Being therefore driven to 
despair I>y these and the like reasons he yielded to the 
persuasions of Pandulph, and, although not without pain, he 
granted the underwritten form of peaee ; he also swore by 
the holy gospels in the presence of Pandulph, that he would 
be obedient to the church's sentence, and sixteen of the most 
powerful nobles of the kingdom swore on the soul of the king 
himself, that, should he repent of his promise, they would, to 
the utmost of their power, compel him to fulfil it. 

Charter of kin</ John for giving satisfaction to the arcltbiahop ami monk; 
qf Canterbury, and other prelates of llnyland, and for the restitution of 
their confiscated properly. 

On the, Kith day of May, which was the Monday next 
preceding Ascension day, the king and Pandulph with the 
earls, barons, and a large; concourse of people, met at Dover 
and there they unanimously agreed to the underwritten form 
of peace : 

"John /tiny of England, to all to whom these presents 
shall come, greeting. By these our letters patent, sealed with 
our seal, we wish it known, that, in our presence and by our 
commands, these our four barons, namely, William earl of 
Salisbury, our brother, Reginald count of Boulogne, William 
earl Warenne, and William count of Ferrars, have sworn, 
on our soul, that we will in all good faith keep the subscribed 
peace in all things. We therefore in the first place solemnly 
and absolutely swear, in the presence of the legate, to abide 
by the commands of our lord the pope, in all the matters fo.r 
which we have been excommunicated by him, and that we 
will observe strict peace and afford full security to those 
venerable men, Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, William 
bishop of London, Eustace bishop of Ely, Giles of Hereford, 
tJocelyn of Bath, and Hubert of Lincoln, the prior and monks 
of Canterbury, Kobert Fit/-\N alter, and Eustace tie Yesci, 
and also to the rest of the clergy and laity connected with 
this matter; we, at the same time, in the presence of ihe 
same legate or delegate, publicly make oath that we will not 
injure them in property, or cause or permit them to be 


injured in person or property, and we will dismiss all our 
anger against them, and will receive them into our favour, 
and observe this in all good faith ; also that we will not 
hinder the aforesaid archbishop and bishops, or cause or 
permit, them to be hindered from performing their duties in 
all freedom, and enjoying the full authority of their jurisdic- 
tion, as they ought to do. And for this we will grant our 
letters patent as well to our lord the pope as to the said arch- 
bishop and to each of the bishops, causing our bishops, earls, 
and barons, as many of them as the aforesaid archbishop and 
bishops shall select, to set forth by their oath and by letters 
patent that they themselves will use their endeavours to see 
this peace and arrangement firmly kept ; and if by anv 
chance, which may Clod avert, we should, either by ourselves 
or by others, contravene this, they will then abide by the 
apostolic commands on behalf of the church against the 
violators of this peace and arrangement, and may we for ever 
lose the wardship of the vacant churches. And if by chance 
we cannot induce them to agree to the last part of this oath, 
namely, that, if we contravene it either by ourselves or others, 
they will abide by the apostolic commands on behalf of the 
church against the violators of this peace and arrangement, 
we have, lor this, by our letters patent, pledged with our lord 
the pope and the church of Rome, all the right of patronage 
which we possess in the English churches. And we will 
transmit all these our letters patent, which are granted for 
the security of the aforesaid prelates, to the archbishop and 
bishops before they come to England. But, should we 
require it, the aforesaid archbishop and bishops shall, savinir 
the honour of God and the churches, give security on oath, 
and in writing, that they will not, either personally or by 
others, make any attempt against our person or crown, as 
long as we afford them the security above-mentioned, and 
keep the peace unbroken. We will also make full restitution 
of the confiscated property, and satisfy for their losses 
the clergy as well as laity who are concerned in this business, 
not only as regards their property, but also their rights, and 
we will protect their restored rights ; the archbishop and the 
bishop of Lincoln we will indemnity from the time of their 
consecration, the rest from the commencement of this dis- 
agreement. And no agreement, promise, or grant shall be 

A.I). 1213.] CHARTER OF KING JOHN'. 267 

an impediment to these indemnifications for loss, or the, 
restoration of the confiscated property of the dead as well u. 
the living. Nor will we. retain anything under pretence of 
service due to us, but afterwards a proper recorn pence shall 
be given for service done to us. And we will forthwith 
release, dismiss, and restore to their rights all the clergy 
whom we are holding under restraint, as well as any of the 
laity, who arc detained in custody on account of this business. 
And immediately on the arrival of a fit person to absolve us, 
we will, in part restoration of the confiscated property, 
deliver to messengers deputed by the said archbishop, bishops, 
and monks of Canterbury, the sum of eight thousand pounds 
lawful sterling money, for discharging what is due, and for 
necessary expenses to be carried to them without let or 
hindrance on our part, that they may be honourably recalled 
and returned to England as soon as possible, namely, to 
Stephen archbishop of Canterbury two thousand five hundred 
pounds, to William bishop of London seven hundred and fifty 
pounds, to Eustace of Ely seven hundred and fifty pounds. 
to Jocelyn of Bath, seven hundred and fifty pounds, to 
Hubert of Lincoln seven hundred and fifty pounds, and to 
the prior and monks of Canterbury a thousand pounds ; and 
as soon as we know that this peace is confirmed, we will 
assign without delay to the archbishop and bishops, to the 
clergy and to each and all of the churches, by the hands of 
their messengers or agents, all the moveable property with 
free management of the same, and dismiss them peaceably. 
And we will also publicly revoke the sentence of outlawry 
which we have pronounced against the ecclesiastics, declaring 
by these our letters patent, to be delivered to the archbishop, 
that it in no wise pertains to us, and that we will never 
again pronounce that sentence against the ecclesiastics ; we 
moreover revoke the sentence of outlawry pronounced against 
the laity concerned in this matter, and restore all that we 
have received from ecclesiastics since the interdict, except 
the custom of the kingdom and the liberty of the church. 
But if any question shall arise about the losses and confisca- 
tions, or the amount of computation of them, it shall be 
determined by the legate or delegate of our lord the pope, 
after hearing evidence on the matter; and after all this is 
duly arranged the sentence of interdict shall be withdrawn. 

268 nOGER OF WKXDOVER. [A.D. 1213. 

As to the other points, if any doubts, worthy of being enter- 
tained, arise, if they are not set at rest by the legate or 
delegate of our lord the pope, they shall be referred to the 
pope himself, and whatever he determines shall be abided by. 
Witness myself, at Dover, this 13th day of May, in the 
fourteenth year of our reign.* 

How king John resigned his crotrn ami the kingdom nf England into tlic 
hands of pope Innocent. 

Matters having been thus arranged on the fifteenth of 
May, which was the eve of Ascension-day, the English king 
and Pandulph, with the nobles of the kingdom, met at the 
house of the knights templars near Dover, and there the 
said king, according to a decree pronounced at Rome, resigned 
his crown with the kingdoms of England and Ireland into 
the hands of our lord the pope, whose functions the said Pan- 
dulph was then performing. After having resigned them 
then he gave the aforesaid kingdoms to the pope and his 
successors, and confirmed them to the latter by the under- 
written charter ; 

" John, by the grace of God, king of England, ftc. to all the 
faithful servants of Christ who shall behold this charter, heallk 
in the Lord. We wish it, by this our charter signed with 
our seal, to be known to you, that we, having in many things 
offended God and our mother the holy church, and being in 
great need of the divine mercy for our sins, and not having 
wherewithal to make a worthy offering as an atonement to 
God, and to pay the just demands of the church, unless we 
humiliate ourselves before Him who humiliated himself for 
us even to death ; we, impelled by the inspiration of the Holy 
Spirit, and not by force or from fear of the interdict, but of 

" About the same time king John accused Robert Fit/- Walter of 
treachery and rebellion, nnd on the day after the feast of St. Hilary, which 
was a Monday, he ordered Baynard's castle at London to be pulled down 
by the Londoners. On the Thursday following, Nicholas bishop of 
Tusculum, came to England as legate, and went first to Westminster ; there 
he stayed eighteen days, and entered into a careful discussion with the con- 
ventual assembly of that church on the reformation of spiritual and 
temporal matters. On the fe<ist of St. Edmund he went to Evesham, and 
for evident reasons deposed Roger the abbat of that church, appointing 
Ralph prior of Worcester in his stead. In the same year, too, died 
Geoffrey Fitz-Peter justiciary of England." M. /'arts. 


our own free will and consent, and by the general advice of 
our barons, assign and grant to God, and his holy apostles 
Peter and Paul, and to the holy church of Rome our mother, 
and to our lord pope Innocent and his catholic .successors, 
the whole kingdom of England and the whole kingdom of 
Ireland, with all their rights and appurtenances, in remission 
of the sins of us and our whole race, as well for those living 
as for the dead ; arid henceforth we retain and hold those 
countries from him and the church of Rome as vicegerent, 
and this we, declare in the presence of this learned man Pan- 
dulph, subdeacon and familiar of our lord the pope. And we 
have made our homage and sworn allegiance to our lord the 
pope and his catholic successors, and the church of Rome in 
manner hereunder written ; and we will make our homage 
and allegiance for the same in presence of our lord the pope 
himself, if we are able to go before him; and we bind our 
successors and heirs by our wife for ever, in like manner, to 
do homage and render allegiance, without opposition, to the 
supreme pontiff for the time being, and the church of Rome. 
And in token of this lasting bond and grant, we will and 
determine that, from our own income and from our special 
revenues arising from the aforesaid kingdoms, the church of 
Rome shall, for all service and custom which we owe to them, 
saving always the St. Peter's pence, receive annually a 
thousand marks sterling money; that is to say, five hundred 
marks at Michaelmas, and five hundred at Easter ; that is. 
seven hundred for the kingdom of England, and three hundred 
for Ireland ; saving to us and our heirs all our rights, pri- 
vileges, and royal customs. And as we wish to ratify and 
confirm all that has been above written, we bind ourselves 
and our successors not to contravene it; and if we, or anv 
one of our successors, shall dare to oppose this, let him, 
whoever he be, be deprived of his right in "the kingdom. And 
let this charter of our bond and grant remain confirmed for 
ever. Witness myself at the house of the knights of the 
Temple near Dover, in the presence of Henry archbishop o 
Dublin, John bishop of Norwich, Geoffrey Fit/- Peter. 
William earl of Salisbury, William earl of Pembroke, Re- 
ginald count of Boulogne, William earl Warenne, Saver earl 
Winton, William earl of Arundel, William earl of Kerrars, 
William Briuere, Peter Fitz-llerebert, and Warm Filz- 

270 KOGER OF WEXDOVER. [A.D. 1213. 

Gerald, this fifteenth day of May, in the fourteenth year of 
our reign. 

Of king John's homage to the pope and church of Rome. 

This charter of the king's, as above-mentioned, having 
been reduced to writing, he delivered it to Pandulph to be 
taken to pope Innocent, and immediately afterwards in the 
sight of all, he made the underwritten homage : " I, John, by 
the grace of God, king of England and lord of Ireland, will, 
from this time as formerly, be faithful to God, St. Peter, the 
church of Home, and to my liege lord pope Innocent and his 
catholic successors ; I will not act, speak, consent to, or 
advise, anything bv which they may lose life or limb, or be 
exposed to caption by treachery ; I will prevent damage to 
them if I am aware of it ; and, if in my power, will repair it; 
or else 1 will inform them as soon as in my power so to do, 
or will tell it to such a person as I believe will be sure to in- 
form them of it ; any purpose which they may entrust to me 
themselves, or by their messengers or letters, I will keep 
secret, and, if I know of it, will not disclose it to any one to 
their injury ; I will assist in holding and defending the in- 
heritance of St. Peter, and particularly the kingdoms of 
England and Ireland, against all men, to the utmost of my 
power. So may God and the holy gospel help me, Amen." 
This happened, as we said before, on the eve of Ascension- 
day, in the presence of the bishops, earls, and other nobles. 
The day of our Lord's Ascension on the morrow was looked 
for with mistrust, not only by the king, but by all others, as 
well absent as present, on account of the assertions of Peter 
the hermit, who, as was stated before, had prophesied to 
John that he would not be a king on Ascension-day or after- 
wards. But after he had passed the prefixed day, and con- 
tinued safe and in health, the king ordered the aforesaid 
Peter, who was detained a prisoner in Corfe Castle, to be tied 
to the horse's tail at the town of Wareham, dragged through 
the streets of the town, and afterwards hung on a gibbet, 
together with his son. To many it did not seem that he de- 
served to be punished by such a cruel death for declaring the 
truth ; for if the circumstances, stated above to have hap- 
pened, be thoroughly considered, it will be proved that he 
did not tell a falsehood. 


How I'andulph returned to France with a portion of the conjiscate<t 
jyroperty restored. 

After this, Pandulph crossed the sea into Franco, taking 
with him these aforesaid charters, and also eight thousand 
pounds sterling money, that he might in part make restitu- 
tion for their losses to the archbishop, bishops, and monks, 
of Canterbury, and others who were living in exile on ac- 
count of the interdict. As the purport of the charters and 
the form of the aforesaid peace gave satisfaction to all of 
them, Pandulph strongly advised the aforesaid bishops to 
return peaceably to England, to receive there the rest of the 
indemnity-money. After this, he earnestly advised the 
French king, who had made preparations to invade England 
by force, to desist from his purpose and to return home in 
peace ; for he could not, without offending the supreme 
pontiff, attack England or the king himself, since that 
monarch was ready to give satisfaction to God, the holy 
church, and its ordained ministers, as well as to obey tin; 
catholic commands of our lord the pope. The French king 
was much enraged when he heard this, and said that he had 
already spent sixty thousand pounds in the equipment of his 
ships, and in providing food and arms, and that he had 
undertaken the said duty by command of our lord the pope, 
and for the remission of his sins ; and to speak the truth, 
the said king would not have yielded to the suggestions of 
Pandulph, only that Philip count of Flanders refused to 
follow him, for that prince had made a treaty with the king 
of the English, and would not act contrary to his agreement. 
Moreover the count said that the war, which he had under- 
taken to subdue the English king, was unjust, since none of 
his ancestors till then had claimed any right in the kingdom 
of England ; he added moreover, that the French king had 
unjustly seized on his the count's lands and castles, and was 
then detaining his inheritance against the laws of justice ; 
and these were his reasons for refusing to go with him to 

Ilino the king of the French made an attack on the counl of Flandfri. 

The French king was greatly enraged at these words ol 
the count of Flanders, and, having no confidence in him, 
ordered him to leave his court at once ; and after his de- 

272 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1'214. 

parture he invaded the count's territories, destroying every 
place he came to by fire, and putting the inhabitants to the 
sword. He also gave orders to the sailors and commanders 
of his fleet, who, as we said before, had been waiting at the 
mouth of the river Seine, equipped with stores and arms, to 
set sail without delay towards Swine, a port of Flanders, 
and to make all haste to come to him there, which they did. 
The count of Flanders, who was much alarmed at this attack 
of the French king, sent word of it in all haste to Joint, 
earnestly imploring him to send some troops to help him. At 
this news the English king sent to the assistance of the 
count, his brother William carl of Salisbury, William duke 
of Houtland, and Reginald count of Boulogne, able soldiers, 
with five hundred ships and seven hundred knights, with a 
large number of soldiers horse and foot ; and these nobles, 
setting sail with a fair wind, soon arrived at the port of 
Swine. On their arrival there they were astonished to be- 
hold such a concourse of shipping, and by means of scouts 
they learned that this was the French king's fleet, which 
had lately arrived, and they also found out that there 
were scarcely any in charge of it except a few sailors ; for 
the soldiers, to whose charge it had been entrusted, were 
gone out to collect booty, and were ravaging the count's 
territory. When the chiefs of the English army learned 
this, they flew to arms, fiercely attacked the fleet, and, soon 
defeating the crews, they cut the cables of three hundred 
of their ships loaded with corn, wine, flour, meat, anus, and 
other stores, and sent them to sea to make for England ; 
besides these they set fire to and burned a hundred or more 
which were aground, after taking all the stores from them. 
By this misfortune the French king and almost all the Tans- 
marine nobility lost all their most valuable possessions. 
Afterwards, some of the English nobles, incited by ani- 
mosity beyond bounds, burst forth from their ships, mounted 
and armed, and set off in hot pursuit of those of the French 
who had fled from the slaughter ; but the French king, who 
was not far off from the conflict, sent some of his most trusty 
soldiers to keep the enemy in check, and to find out for 
certain who they were. They accordingly took to their 
arms and soon met with the hostile party, and both parties 
engaged ; but the English nobles were put to flight with 


loss, and with difficulty oscnped to their ships ; and after 
they had re-embarked, the French returned to their own 
quarters. To the, king's inquiries as to what had happened, 
and whence the strangers had come, the soldiers said that it 
was the army of the king of England which had been sent 
to the assistance of the count of Flanders, and they then 
related the misfortune which had happened and the irrepara- 
ble damage, clone to his fleet; on learning which king Philip 
retired in confusion from Flanders with great loss to himself 
and to his followers. 

The king of England absolved at Winchester. 

The, English king, on hearing what had taken place in 
Flanders, was greatly rejoiced, and in the joy of his mind at 
knowing that the approach of the French king was sus- 
pended at least for a time, he ordered the nobles and the 
whole army which he had collected near the sea-coast, for 
the defence of their country, to return to their homes ; he 
then sent a large sum of money to the soldiers in Flanders, 
and promising them the assistance of the emperor, to in- 
vade the French king's territory with fire and sword. 
The king himself assembled a large army at Portsmouth, 
intending to cross over into Poictou, determining to harass 
the French king and his kingdom in the western parts, 
as those who were in Flanders did in the east, and to 
use all his endeavours to recover the territories he had lost 
to his dominion. But things turned out contrary to his 
expectations, for the English nobles refused to follow him 
unless he was previously absolved from the sentence of 
excommunication. In this difficulty, then, the king sent the 
warrants of twenty-four earls and barons to the aforesaid 
archbishop and bishops for greater security, telling them to 
lay aside all fear, and to come to England, there to receive 
all their rights, and the indemnity for the property they had 
been deprived of according to the terms of the above written 
peace. By the advice of Pandulph, therefore, when all was 
ready for their return home, Stephen archbishop of Canter- 
bury, and the bishops William of London, Eustace of Ely, 
Hubert of Lincoln, and Giles of Hereford, embarked in com- 
pany with others of the clergy and laity who wen- in exile 
on account of the interdict, and, landing at Dover on the 


274 KOGER OF WENDOVEK. [\.D. 1214. 

16th of July, they set out to see the king, and came to him 
at Winchester on St. Margaret the virgin's day. The king, 
when he heard of their approach, went out to meet them, 
and when he saw the archbishop and bishops, he prostrated 
himself at their feet, and besought them in tears to have 
eompassion on him and the kingdom of England. The said 
archbishop and bishops, seeing the king's great humility, 
raised him from the ground, and taking him by the hand on 
each side, they led him to the door of the cathedral church, 
where they chanted tin- fiftieth psalm, and, in the presence 
of all the nobles, who wept with joy, they absolved him 
according to the custom of the church. At this absolution, 
the king swore on the holy gospels that he would love 
holy church and its ordained members, and would, to the 
utmost of his power, defend and maintain them against all 
their enemies; and that he would renew all the good laws of 
his ancestors, especially those of king Edward, would annul 
bad ones, would judge his subjects according to the just de- 
crees of his courts, and would re.-tore his rights to each and 
all. He also swore that, before the next Easter, he woiil.l 
make restitution of confiscated property to all who were 
concerned in the matter of the interdict ; and if he did not 
do so, he would consent to have the former sentence of 
excommunication renewed. He moreover swore fealty and 
obedience to pope Innocent and his catholic successors, as 
was contained in the above-written charter: the archbishop 
then took the king into the church, and there performed 
mass, after which the archbishop, bishops, and nobles, feasted 
at the same table with the king, amidst joy and festivity. 
The next day the king sent letters to all the sheriffs of the 
kingdom, ordering them to send four liege men from each 
town in their demesne, together with the warden, to St. 
Alban's on the 4th of August, that through them and his 
other agents he might make inquiries about the losses and 
confiscated property of each of the bishops, and how much 
was due to each. He then set out in all haste to Ports- 
mouth, that he might thence cross to Poictou, and gave charge 
of the kingdom to Geoffrey Fitx-Petcr and the bishop of 
Winchester, with orders that they were to consult with the 
archbishop of Canterbury in arranging the business of the 
kingdom. Ou the king's arrival at Portsmouth, there cauie 


to him tliere an immense number of knights, complaining that, 
during their long stay there they had .spent all their money, 
and that therefore unless they were supplied with money 
from the treasury, they could not follow him. This the 
king refused, but, flying into a rage, he embarked with 
his private attendants, and after three days landed at 
Guernsey, whilst his nobles returned home ; and the king, 
seeing himself thus abandoned, was compelled to return to 
England himself. 

Declaration of taws and rights. 

Whilst this was passing, Geoffrey Fitz-Peter and the 
bishop of Winchester held a council at St. Alban's with the 
archbishop, bishops, arid nobles of the kingdom, at which the 
peace made by the king was told to all, and, on behalf of the 
said king, it was strictly ordered, that all the laws of his 
grandfather king Henry should be kept by all throughout 
the kingdom, and that all unjust laws should be utterly 
abolished ; the sheriffs, foresters, and other agents of the 
king were forbidden, as they regarded life and limb, to extort 
any tiling from any one by force, or to inflict injuries on any 
one, or to make tallage any where in the kingdom as had 
been their custom. King John in the meantime, finding 
himself deserted by some of the nobles as we have said, 
collected a large army to bring these rebellious ones to their 
duty; but as soon as he had begun to take up arms, the 
archbishop went to him at Northampton and told him, that it 
would redound very much to the injury of the oath which he 
had taken on his absolution, if he were to make war against 
any one without the decision of his court; the king, 
hearing this, angrily said that he would not put off the 
business of the kingdom on the archbishop's account, as lay 
matters did not pertain to him. The next day therefore he 
set out on his march in a rage, taking the way to Nottingham, 
the archbishop, however, still followed him, boldly declaring 
that, unless he desisted from his undertaking, he would 
anathematize all who made war against any one before being 
absolved from an interdict, besides himself alone, and thus 
the archbishop diverted the king from his purpose, and did 
not leave him till he had prevailed on the king to name a 
convenient day for the barous to come to his court, and there 
submit to justice. 

T 2 

276 ROGER OP WENDOVER. [A.D. 1214. 

The reason of the irritation of the larons against the king. 

On the 2oth of August in the same year, Stephen arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, with the bishops, abbats, priors,deacons, 
and barons of the kingdom assembled at St. Paul's, in the city 
of London, and there the archbishop granted permission to 
the conventual churches, as well as to the secular priests, to 
chant the services of the church in a low voice, in the hearing 
of their parishioners. At this conference, as report asserts, 
the said archbishop called some of the nobles aside to him, 
and conversed privately with them to the following effect, 
" Did you hear," said he, " how, when I absolved the king 
at Winchester, I made, him swear that he would do away 
with unjust laws, and would recall good laws, such as those 
of king Edward, and cause them to be observed by all in the 
kingdom; a charter of Henry the first king of England has 
just now been found, by which you may, if you wish it, 
recall your long-lost rights and your former condition." 
And placing a paper in the midst of them, he ordered it to 
be read aloud for all to hear, the contents of which were as 

" Henry by tJie grace of God king of England, to Hunk 
de Boclande justiciary of England, and all Iris faithful sub- 
jects, as well French as English, in Hertfordshire, nrct'thtn. 
Know that I, by the. Lord's mercy, have been crowned king 
by common consent of the barons of the kingdom of England ; 
and because the kingdom has been oppressed by unjust 
exactions, I, out of respect to God, and the love which I feel 
towards you, in the first place constitute the holy church of 
God a free church, so that I will not sell it, nor farm it out, 
nor will I, on the death of any archbishop, bishop, or abbat, 
take anything from the domain of the church or its people, 
until his successor takes his place. And I from this time do 
away with all the evil practices, by which the kingdom of 
England is now unjustly oppressed, and these evil practices 
I here in part mention. If any baron, earl, or other subject 
of mine, who holds possession from me, shall die, his heir 
shall not redeem his land, as was the custom in my father's 
time, but shall pay a just and lawful relief for the same ; and 
in like manner, too, the dependants of my barons shall pay 

A.D. 1214.] CUAUTICH OF HICNUY I. 277 

a like relief for their land to their lords. And if any baron 
or other .subject of mine shall wish to give hi.s daughter, his 
sister, hi.s niece, or other female relative, in marriage, let him 
ask my permission on the matter ; but I will not take any of 
hi.s property for granting my permission, nor will I forbid his 
giving her in marriage except he wishes to give her to an 
enemy of mine ; and if on the death of a baron or other 
subject of mine, the daughter is left heiress, I, by the advice 
of my barons, will give her in marriage together with her 
land ; and if on the death of a husband the wife is surviving 
and is childless, she shall have her dowry for a marriage 
portion, and I will not give her away to another husband 
unless with her consent; but if a wife survives, having 
children, she shall have her dowry as a marriage portion, as 
long as she shall keep herself according to law, and I will 
not give her to a husband unless with her consent ; and the 
guardian of the children's land shall be either the wife, or 
some other nearer relation, who ought more rightly to be so ; 
and I enjoin on my barons to act in the same way towards 
the sons and daughters and wives of their dependants. INIore- 
over the common monetage, as taken throughout the cities 
and counties, such as was not in use in king Edward's time, 
is hereby forbidden ; and if any one, whether a coiner or any 
other person, be taken with false money, let strict justice be 
done to him for it. All pleas and all debts, which were due 
to the king my brother, 1 forgive, except my farms, and 
those debts which w r ere contracted for the inheritances of 
others, or for those things which more justly belong to others. 
And if any one shall have covenanted anything for his 
inheritance, I forgive it, and all reliefs which were contracted 
for just inheritances. And if any baron or subject of mine 
shall be ill, I hereby ratify all such disposition as he shall 
have made of his money; but if through service in war or 
sickness he shall have made no disposition of his money, his 
wife, or children, or parents, and legitimate dependants, shall 
distribute it for the good of his soul, as shall seem best to them. 
If any baron or other subject of mine shall have made 
forfeiture, he shall not give bail to save his money, as was 
done in the time of my father and my brother, but according 
to the degree of the forfeiture ; nor shall he make amends for 
his fault as he did in the time of my father or of my other 

278 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 121 1. 

ancestors; and if any one shall he convicted of treason or 
other crime, his punishment shall be according to his fault. 
I forgive all murders committed previous to the day on which 
I was crowned king ; but those which have been since com- 
mitted, shall be justly punished, according to the law of king 
Edward. By tho common advice of my barons, I have 
retained the forests in my possession as my father held them. 
All knights, moreover, who hold their lands by service, are 
hereby allowed to have their domains free from all amerce- 
ments and from all peculiar service, that as they are thus 
relieved from a great burden, they may provide themselves 
properly with horses and arms, so that they may be lit and 
ready for my service and for the defence of my kingdom. I 
bestow confirmed peace in all my kingdom, and 1 order it to 
be preserved from henceforth. I restore to you the law of 
king Edward, with the amendments which my father, by the 
advice of his barons, made in it. If any one has taken any- 
thing of mine, or of any one else's property, since the death of 
my brother king William, let it all be soon restored without 
alteration ; and if any one shall retain anything of it, he shall, 
on being discovered, atone to me for it heavily. Witness 
Maurice bishop of London, William elect of Winchester, 
Gerard of Hereford, earl Henry, earl Simon, earl \\ alter 
Gifford, Robert de Montiurt, Roger Bigod, and many others." 
When this paper had been read and its purport understood 
by the barons who heard it, they were much pleased with it, 
and all of them, in the archbishop's presence, swore that 
when they saw a fit opportunity, they would stand up for their 
rights, if necessary would die for them ; the archbishop, too, 
faithfully promised them his assistance as far as lay in his 
power; and this agreement having been settled between 
them, the conference was broken up. 

Of the hereby of the AlLiyentft, ami the declaration of a cruaile 
ayaimt /fiein. 

About that time the depravity of the heretics called 
Albigenses, who dwelt in Gascony, Arumnia, and Alby, 
gained such power in the parts about Toulouse, and in the 
kingdom of Arragon, that they not only practised (heir 
impieties in secret as was done elsewhere, but preached their 
erroneous doctrine openly, and induced the simple and weak- 


minded to conform to thorn. The Albigenses are so called 
from the city of Alba, whore that doctrine is said to have 
taken its rise. At length their perversity set the arisen of 
God 80 completely at defiance, that they published the books 
of their doctrines amongst the lower orders, before the very 
eyes of the bishops and priests, and disgraced the chalices 
and sacred vessels in disrespect of the body and blood of 
('hrist. I'ope Innocent was greatly grieved at hearing these 
things, and he immediately sent preachers into all the 
districts of the west, and enjoined to the chiefs and other 
Christian people as a remission of their sins, that they should 
take the sign of the cross for the extirpation of this plague, 
and, opposing themselves to such disasters, should protect the 
Christian people by force of arms; he also added, by autho- 
rity of the apostolic see, that whoever undertook the business 
of overthrowing the heretics according to his injunction, 
should, like those who visited the Lord's sepulchre, be pro- 
tected from all hostile attacks both in property and person. 
At this preaching such a multitude of crusaders assembled, 
as it is not to !' credited could have assembled in our 

Of the movements of the crusaders againsl the Alliycnses. 

When therefore they were all assembled and prepared for 
battle, the archbishop of Narbonne, the legate of the apostolic 
see in this expedition, and the chiefs of the army, namely 
the duke of Burgundy, the count of Nevers, and the count 
de Montfort, struck their camp and marched to lay siege to 
the city of Boziors. But before they got to it the lords of 
some of the castles, having little confidence in themselves, 
fled at the sight of their army; the knights and others who 
were left in charge of the said castles, went boldly as good 
catholics and surrendered themselves with their property, as 
well as the castles to the army of the crusaders ; ami, on the 
eve, of St. Mary Magdalen, they surrendered the noble castle 
of Cermaine to a monk, the lord of the castle, who also pos- 
sessed several others of great strength, having taken to Might. 
They warned the citizens of Be/.iers, through the bishop of 
that city, under penalty of excommunication, to make choice 
of one out of two alternatives ; either to deliver the heretics 
and their property into the hands of the crusaders, or else to 


send them away from amongst them, otherwise they would 
l>e excommunicated, and their blood be on their own heads. 
The heretics and their allies scornfully refused to accede to 
this, and mutually swore to defend the city ; and, when they 
had pledged their faith, they hoped to be able for a long time 
to sustain the assaults of the crusaders. After the city was 
laid siege to, on the feast of St. Mary Magdalen, the catholic 
barons considered how they could save those amongst them 
who were catholics, and made overtures for their liberation ; 
but the rabble and low people, without waiting for the com- 
mand or orders of the chiefs, made an assault on the city, 
and, to the astonishment of the Christians, when the cry to 
arms was raised, and the army of the faith was rushing in all 
directions to the assaults, those who were defending the walls 
inside threw out the book of the gospel from the city on 
them, blaspheming the name of the Lord, and deriding their 
assailants; "Behold," they said, "your law, we take no heed 
to it ; yours it shall be." The soldiers of the faith, incensed 
by such blasphemy and provoked by their insults, in less 
than three hours' time crossed the fosse and scaled the walls, 
by the Lord's assistance. Thus was the .city taken, and on 
the same day it was sacked and burnt, a great slaughter of 
the infidels taking place as the punishment of God ; but, 
under his protection, very few of the catholics were slain. 
After the lapse of a few days, when the report of this miracle 
was spread abroad, the Lord scattered before the face of the 
crusaders, as it were without their assistance, those who had 
blasphemed his name and his law, and at length the followers 
of this heretical depravity were so alarmed that they fled to 
the recesses of the mountains, and what may be believed, 
they left more than a hundred untenanted castles, between 
Beziers and Carcassone, stocked with 1'ood and all kinds of 
stores, which they could not take with them in their flight. 

The capture i>f the cily anil castle of Carcuasonc . 

The crusaders, moving their camp from this place, arrived 
on the feast of St. Peter "ad vincula" at Carcassone, a 
populous city, and till now glorying in its wickedness, 
abounding in riches, and well fortified. On the following 
day they made an assault, and within two or three hours 
they crossed the entrenchments and scaled tle walls amidst 


showers of missiles from the cross bows, and the blows of the 
lances and swords of its wicked defenders. After this they 
set up their engines of war, and on the eighth day the greater 
suburb was taken after a great many of the enemy, who had 
incautiously exposed themselves, were slain, and the suburbs 
of the city, which seemed larger than the body of the town, 
were altogether destroyed. The enemy being thus confined 
in the narrow streets of the city, and suffering as well from 
their numbers as from want of provisions more than is cre- 
dible, offered themselves and all their property, together with 
the city to the crusaders, on condition of their lives being 
preserved out of mercy, and of being saved for at least one 
day. After holding a council, therefore, the barons received 
the city almost as it were under compulsion ; in the first 
place because, in men's opinion, it was deemed impregnable ; 
for another reason because, if that city were altogether de- 
stroyed, there would not be found a nobleman of the army 
who would undertake the government of that country, as 
there would not be a place in the subdued land where he 
could reside. Therefore, that the land, which the Lord had 
delivered into the hands of his servants, might be preserved 
to his honour and the advantage of Christianity, the noble 
Simon de Montfort earl of Leicester was, by the common con- 
sent of prelates and barons, chosen as ruler of that country ; 
and into his hands was delivered as a prisoner the noble 
Roger, formerly viscount and ruler of that country, together 
with the whole of the province, including about a hundred 
castles, which, within one month, the Lord designed to restore 
to the catholic unity ; and amongst these same castles were 
several of such strength that there would have been, in the 
opinion of men, but little cause to fear any army. After 
effecting this, the count of Nevers and a large part of the 
army returned home, whilst the illustrious duke of Burgundy 
and the rest of the nobles proceeded with their army to the 
extirpation of this heretical depravity, and after this they de- 
livered into the hands of earl Simon de Mont fort ,-everal 
more castles which they took either by fair means or by 

Afcssengers scnl to Toulouse ly the crnsadfrs. 
As the city of Toulouse had been reported to have been 

282 ROGER OF WF.NDOVER. [x.D. 1:214. 

long tainted with this pestiferous sin, the barons sent special 
messengers, namely, the archbishop of Santonge, the bishop 
of Foroli, the viscount of St. Florentius, and the lord Accald dii 
Roussillon, to the inhabitants of that city with letters from 
them, ordering them to deliver up to the army of the crusaders 
the heretics of that city, and all their property. But if by 
chance they should say that they were not heretics ; that 
those who were signified and expressed by name should conic 
to them to make a plain declaration of their faith, according 
to Christian custom, before the whole army ; and should they 
refuse to do this they would, by the same letters, excom- 
municate their chief officers and counsellors, and place tin- 
whole town of Toulouse with its dependencies under an 
interdict. In this year,* on the fourteenth of October, Geoffrey 
Fitz-Peter, justiciary of England, closed his life. 

* " In the course of the same year, during the following summer, there 
sprang up in France a false doctrine never before heard of: for a certain 
youth, who was a boy in ape, but of vile habits, at the instigation of the 
devil, went about amongst the eities and castles of France, chanting in 
French these words : " O Lord Jesus Christ, restore to us the holy cross !" with 
many other additions. And when the rest of the boys of his own age saw and 
heard him, they followed him in endless numbers, and, being infatuated by 
the wiles of the devil, they left their fathers and mothers, nurses, and all 
their friends, singing in the same way as their teacher; and, what wiis 
astonishing, no lock could detain them, nor could the persuasions of their 
parents recall them, but they followed their said master towards the Medi- 
terranean sea, and, crossing it, they marched on in procession singing. No 
city could hold them on account of numbers ; their leader was placed in a 
car ornamented with a canopy, and was attended by armed guards raising 
their shouts around him. They were so numerous that they squeezed one 
another together, and that one thought himself happy who could gain a 
thread or a shred of his garment. Hut at last, their old enemy Satan 
plotted against them, and they all perished either on land or by sea. 

Of the denth of Geoffrey Fitz- Peter. 

In the wime year Geoffrey Fitz-Peter, justiciary of all England, a man 
of great power and authority, died on the second day of October, to the great 
grief of the kingdom. This man was a firm pillar of the church, and was a 
noble-minded man, learned in the laws, treasures, and revenues, was strength- 
ened by good works, and was allied either by blood or the ties of friend- 
ship to all the nobles of England : the king on this account feared him 
more than all the rest of his subjects, without having any regard for him; 
for he held the reins of government ; and therefore at his death England 
was like a ship at sea without a pilot. This disturbance commenced on the 
death of Hubert archbishop of Canterbury, a noble and a faithful man; ami 
after the deaths of these two men, England could not breathe. On the 
death of the said Peter being told to king John, he laughingly said, " When 



Of the death of the kirxj of Arragan at Mn ></'/.<. 
About this time, the king of Arnigon, after beinjr crou rn <] 
at Rome, by pope Innocent, although he had receive. 1 a m ,*t 
strict injunction not to render assistance or show kindlier to 

he sets to hell, let him greet Hubert archbishop of Cnntcrhury, for he will 
doubtless find him there." An<l then turning to those siiiiiii: rou d him 
he added, saving, " By the feet of the Lord, I am now for the first time 
kinp; an d 'rd "f England." Then from that time he had mure free 
power to act in opposition to his oaths and agreement*, which lie had made 
with the said Geoffrey, and to release hinmelf from the fetters of the peace 
in which he had involved himself. He was therefore sorry that he hnd 
been led to give his consent to the aforesaid peace. 

King John in despair sent messengers to the emir .}furmcli'ts. 
He therefore immediately sent secret messengers, namely, the knights 
Thomas Hardington and Ralph Fitz-Nicholas, and Robert of London a 
clerk, to the emir Murmelius the great king of Africa, Morocco, and Sp;n'n, 
who was commonly called Miramumelimis, to tell him that he would 
voluntarily give up to him himself and his kingdom, and if he pleased would 
hold it as tributary from him ; and that lie would also abandon the Christian 
faith, which he considered false, and would faithfully adhere to the law of 
Mahomet. When the aforesaid messengers arrived at the court of the 
above-named prince, they found at the first gate some armed knights keep- 
ing close guard over it with drawn swords. At the second door, which wa 
that of the palace, thev found a larger number of knights, arnu-d to the 
teeth, more handsomely dressed, and stronger and more noble than the 
others, and these closely guarded this entrance with swords drawn: anil at 
the door of the inner room there was a still greater number, and, according 
to appearance, stronger and fiercer than the former ones. Having at length 
been led in peaceably by leave of the emir himself, whom they called the 
great king, these messengers on behalf of their lord the king of England 
saluted him with reverence, and fully explained the reason of their coming, 
at the same time handing him their king's letter, which an interpreter, who 
cume at a summons from him, explained to him. When he understood its 
purport, the king, who was a man of middle age .and height, of manly de- 
portment, eloquent and circumspect in his conversation, then closed the 
book he had been looking at, for he was seated at his desk studying. At 
length after deliberating as it were fora time with himself lie modestly 
replied, " I was just now looking at the book of a wis" Greek and a 
Christian named Paul, which is written in Greek, and his deeds and 
words please me much ; one thing however concerning him displeases me, 
and that is, that he did not stand firm to the faith in which he was burn, 
but turned to another like a deserter and a waverer. And I siy thi* 
with regard to your lord the king of the English, who abandons the most 
pious and pure law of the Christians, under which lie was born, and 
desires, flexible nnd unstable that he is, to come over to our f.iith." And 
he added, " The omniscient and omnipotent (Jod knows that, win- 1 without 
n law, I would choose that law before all others, and having accepted it 
would strictly keep it." He then inquired what was the condition of the 
kin;; of England and his kingdom ; to which Thomas, as the nu st eloquent 

234 ROGER OF WENUOVER. [A. I). 1213. 

the enemies of the faith, not devoutly attending to the com- 
mands of the holy father, contumaciously began to kirk 
against the apostolic mandate. For as soon as he returned 
home, he joined the heretics in that very country which had 

of the messengers, replied : " The king is illustriously and nobly descended 
from (jreat kings, and his territory is rich, and abounds with all kinds of 
wealth, in agriculture, pastures, and woods; and from it also every kind of 
metal may be obtained by smelting. Our people are handsome and in- 
genious, and are skilled in three languages, the Latin, French, and English, 
;vs well as in every liberal and mechanical pursuit. Our country, however, 
does not of itself produce any quantity of vineyards or olive trees, nor fir 
trees, but of these it procures an abundance from adjoining countries by way 
of trade. The climate is salubrious and temperate; it is situated between 
the west and the north; and, receiving heat from the west, and cold from 
the north, it enjoys a agreeable temperature. It is surrounded entirely 
by the sea, whence it is called the queen of islands. The kingdom has, 
from times of old, been governed by an anointed king, and our people are 
free and manly, and acknowledge the domination of no one except God. 
Our church and the services of our religion are more venerated there than 
in any part of the world, and it is peacefully governed by the laws of the 
pope and of the king." The king at the conclusion of this speech drew a 
deep sigh and replied : ' 1 never read or heard that any king possessing 
such a prosperous kingdom subject and obedient to him, would thus volun- 
tarily ruin his sovereignty by making tributary a country that is free, by 
giving to a stranger which is his own, by turning happiness to misery, 
and thus giving himself up to the will of another, conquered as it were with- 
out a wound. I have rather read and heard from many that many would 
procure liberty for themselves at the expense of streams of their blood, 
which is a praiseworthy action ; but now I hear that your wretched lord, a 
sloth and a coward, who is even worse than nothing, wishes, from a free man 
to become a slave, who is the most wretched of all human beings." After 
this he asked, although contemptuously, what was his age, si/e, and strength; 
in reply he was told that he was fifty, entirely hoary, strong in Ixnly, not 
tall, but rather compact and of a form suited for strength. The king on 
hearing this, said : ' His youthful and manly valour has fermented, and now 
begins to grow cool ; within ten years, if he lives so long, his valour will fail 
him before he accomplishes any arduous enterprize; if he should begin now 
he would fall to decay, and would be good for nothing; for a man of fifty 
sinks imperceptibly, but one of sixty gives evident signs of decaying. Let 
him again obtain peace for himself and enjoy rest." The emir, then, after 
reading over all the questions and answers of the messengers, after a short 
silence burst into a laugh, as a sign of indignation, and refused king John's 
offer in these words : " That king is of no consideration, but is a petty 
king, senseless and growing old, and I care nothing about him ; he is un- 
worthy of any alliance with me;" and, regarding Thomas and Kalph with 
a grim look, he said : " Never come into my presence again, and mav your 
eyes never again behold my face; the fame, or rather the infamy of that 
foolish apostate, your master, breathes forth a most i.jul stench to my 
DO6trils." The messengers were then going away with jhame, when the 

A.D. 1213.] MARRIAGE OF KING JOHN. 28/> 

been just recovered, under God, by the assistance of the 
crusaders, and uniting with the counts of Toulouse, Foix, and 
Commengcs, he with the citizens of Toulouse and a large 
army on the third day of the week after the nativity of 

emir beheld Robert the clerk, who was the third of the messengers, and who 
was a small dark man, with one arm longer than the other, and having 
finders all misshapen, namely, two sticking together, and with a face like a 
Jew. Thinking, therefore, that such a contemptible looking person would 
not be sent to manage a difficult business unless he were wise and clever, 
and well understood it, and seeing his cowl and tonsure, and finding bv it 
that he was a clerk, the king ordered him to be called; for when the others 
hud been spenking he had till now stood silent at a distance from him. He 
therefore kept him and sent away the others, and then had a long secret in- 
terview with him, the particulars of which the said Robert afterwards 
disclosed to his friends. The said king asked him if king John was a man 
of moral character, and if he had brave sons, and if he possessed great 
generative power; adding that, if Robert told him a lie in these matters, he 
would never believe a Christian again, especially a clerk. Robert then, or. 
his word as a Christian, promised to give true answers to all the questions 
which he put to him. lie therefore answered affirmatively that John was 
a tyrant rather than a king, a destroyer rather than a governor, an oppresser 
of his own people, and a friend to strangers, a lion to his own subjects, a 
lamb to foreigners and those who fought against him; for, owing to his sloth- 
fulness, he had lost the duchy of Normandy and many other of his terri- 
tories, and moreover was eager to lose the kingdom of England or to destroy 
it; that he was an insatiable extorter of money, and an invader and destroyer 
of the possessions of his own natural subjects; he had begotten few strong 
children, or rather none at all, but only such as took after their lather; he 
had a wife who was hateful to him and who hated him; an incestuous, evil 
disposed, adulterous woman, and of these crimes she had been often found 
guilty, on which the king ordered her paramours to be seized and strangled 
with a rope on her bed; yet nevertheless this same king was envious of 
many of his nobles and relations, and violated their marriageable daughters 
and sisters; and in his observance of the Christian religion he is wavering 
and distrustful, as you have heard." When the king emir heiird all this, he 
not only disdained John as he had before done, but detested him; 
and, according to his own law cursed him; adding, " Why do the 
wretched English permit such ;i man to reign, and lord it over them ? 
they are indeed effeminate and servile." Robert replied: ''The English 
are the most patient of men until they are offended and injured be- 
yond endurance; but now, like a lion or an elephant, when he feels 
himself hurt or sees his blood, they are enraged, and are proposing 
and endeavouring, although late, to shake the yoke of the oppressor 
from their necks." When the king emir heard this, he blamed the too 
easy patience of the English, which the interpreter, who had been present all 
the time, rightly asserted to be fear. The said king conversed on many other 
subjects besides this with Robert, all which the latter afterwards told to his 
friends in England. He then made him several costly presents of gold and 
silver, various kinds of jewels and silks, and dismissed him on friendly terms; 

286 ROCJEll OF WE.NDOVEK. [A.0. 1213. 

St. Mary, laid siege to the ca.stle of Murelle. At this news 
the venerable lathers, the bishops of Toulouse, Kisnies, 
St. Agatha, Bourdeaux, Uzes, Louvaine, and Coinmenge.s, 
and the abbats of Clairvaux, Magneville, and St. Tiberius, 

hut the other messengers he neither saluted when they left him, nor did he 
honour them with any presents. They then returned home and told John 
all that they had seen and heard, on which he wept in bitterness of spirit at 
being despised by the king Emir, and at being balked in his purpose. 
Robert however liberally regarded the king from the foreign gifts bestowed 
on him, so that it was evident he had been received more favourably than 
the others, though at first he had been repulsed and kept silence ; on which 
account the king honoured him more than the others, and by way of reward 
this M-icked extortioner bestowed on him the charge of the abbacy of 
St. Alban's, although it was not vacant, so that this transgressor of the 
faith remunerated his own clerk with the property of another. This Robert 
then, without consulting, yea even against the will of the temporary abbat, 
John de Cell, a most religious and most learned man, seized on cvcrythinir 
which was then in the church and the convent at pleasure, and appropriated it 
to his own use ; and in each bailiwick, which we call obediences, he ap- 
pointed a porter, as a careful and resolute searcher of everything, by which 
means the aforesaid clerk, Robert, cheated that house of more than a 
thousand marks. He, however, had a regard for some of the chief servants 
of the abbat, nnd a monk of St. Alban's, namely, Laurence knight of the 
seneschal, Laurence a clerk, and Master Walter a monk and painter, and 
them he kept as his familiars, to whom he showed his jewels and other 
in secret presents from the emir, and related what had passed between them, 

King John resolves to place England under the jtajial rule. 
From that time then king John began to strengthen his purpose, from 
which he had thought to retract, and to make his condition worse and 
worse, to the detriment of the whole kingdom ; he hated, like viper's poison, 
all the men of noble rank in the kingdom, and especially Saver de Quency, 
Robert Fitz- Walter, and Stephen archbishop of Canterbury. He also 
knew and had learnt by manifold experience, that the pope was beyond all 
other men ambitious and proud, and an insatiable thirster after money, 
nnd ready and apt to perform any sin for a reward or on the promise of one. 
He therefore sent messengers with orders of speed and by them transmitted 
.1 large sum of money to him with a promise of more, and assured him that 
he was, and always would be, subject and tributary to him on condition that 
he would, when an opportunity occurred, endeavour to abase the archbishop 
of Canterbury, and excommunicate the barons of England, whose part he 
had formerly taken ; and he eagerly longed for this that lie might glut hUevil 
disposition by disinheriting, imprisoning, and slaying them when excommuni- 
cated. And these plans, which he had wickedly raked up, he more wickedly 
carried into execution, as will be related hereafter. 

King John entertain* evil opinions of the faith. 

About this time king John became 50 foolish that he conceived evil 
thoughts about the resurrection of the dead, and other matters connected 



all of whom the archbishop of Narbonne, the legate of the 
apostolic see had ordered to assemble lor the purpose of 
managing the business of the crusade, set out together with 
Simon de Montfort, and an army of crusaders, to render 
assistance to the besieged castle. On the Wednesday of the 
above-mentioned week they arrived at a castle called Savar- 
don, whence they sent messengers to the besieging com- 
manders at Murelle, saying that they were come to treat 
with them about peace, and therefore they wished sale con- 

wilh the Christian religion, and gave utterance to sonic unmentionable 
l,K)lish savings, of which, however, we have thought proper to relate one. 
It happened that a very fat stag had been taken in the hunt, ami when it 
was being skinned in the king's presence he laughed, and s.iid in mocki-rx , 
' Oil how fat this animal has grown without ever hearing mass." 

Tlte emir MurmeLius is conquered and takes tojiight. 

About this time the king, or emir, Murmelius, of whom mention was 
made above, with a large army which lie had collected, with John's consent, 
as is said, determined to take forcible possession of the kingdom of Spain ; 
and he was inspired with this boldness by the wavering faith of king John, 
and tlie interdict on that kingdom, When, however, the Christian followers, 
of the king of Spain heard of this, they bravely opposed him, and dispersed 
his whole army, and drove them from the country, after (slaving his eldest 
s >n and capturing his royal standard. In this battle the king of Arragon 
would have gained immortal renown, if he had not been elevated by pride 
and contumaciously exacted from Simon de Montfort the whole of the lain! 
which he had gained from the Albigenses to be held by him, in spite of the 
prohibition of the pope who had asked lor the same, whereby he kindled a 
tierce war against himself. 

About th:& t. me the king of Arragon, who had been crowned by pope 
Innocent at Rome, and received from that pontiff a strict order not to give 
assistance or show favour to the enemies of the faith, disregarded the order 
of his father the pope, and after the victory over the emir Murmelius began 
to backslide, doing all the injury in his power to the aforesaid Simon ; l.e 
also allied himself with the heretic Albigenses, and, in companv with sonic 
knights, tied and joined the people of Toulouse. K. de Deders too with his 
Jiederans summoned together an immense number of his fellow provincial.-, 
and having thus raised a large army, laid siege to the castle of Murelle on 
the Tuesday after the nativity of St. Mary. On hearing this the vener.ibu- 
fathers, the bishops of Toulouse, Nisnies, Agde, Bourges, Utica, Lot tics, 
Carcassone, Elmo, and St. Malo, and the ubbats of Clerac, Mundeville, 
and St. Giles, and many other illustrious men whom the archbishop <>i 
Narbonne, the legate of the apostolic see, 6tc. Ate. All in Matthew 1'aris's 
hand. Fiom this point in the C.C.C. MS. the continuation of the history 
in the text has been compiled by Matthew Paris, and luta been written by 
the same hand as the Cotton MS. The text of Wendover is not left, hut 
additions and alterations are made as well in the body of the work aa by 
1'aris himself, us it would appear, in the margin. ^ 

283 KOGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1213. 

duct to be granted them. On the following day, as the 
urgency of the case so much required it, the crusading army 
left Savardon, and hurried to the assistance of the castle of 
Murelle ; the aforesaid bishops, however, determined to stay 
at a castle called Hanterive, half-way between Savardon and 
Murelle, about two leagues from either of them, there to 
await the return of their messengers ; these when they did 
return brought word to the bishops from the king of Arragon, 
that he would not grant safe conduct to them, because, having 
come with such a large army, they did not want it. The 
bishops, when they heard this, entered Murelle with the 
crusading army on Wednesday of the same week, and 
immediately sent two religious men to the king and the 
inhabitants of Toulouse, but they received with derision from 
the king the answer, that they wanted to have a conference 
with him on account of the four ribalds, which the bishops 
had brought with them ; but the citizens of Toulouse told 
them, the messengers, that they were allies of the king of 
Arragon, and would not do anything except the said king's 
pleasure. When the messengers had related this to the 
bishops, the latter determined to go unshod in company with 
the abbats to the king ; but when their approach in this way 
was made known to the king, the gates of the city having 
been thrown open, and earl Montfort and all the crusaders 
being unarmed, because the bishops were gone to treat for 
peace, the enemies of God treacherously attempted to force 
their way into the town, but by the grace of God they were 
balked in their design. The earl and the crusaders, seeing 
their pride, and being themselves wholesomely cleansed from 
their sins by contrition of heart and verbal confession, put on 
their armour and went to the bishop of Toulouse, who by 
authority of the lord archbishop of Narbonne, was discharg- 
ing the functions of the legateship there, and humbly asked 
liis permission to sally forth against the enemies of the faith. 
As matters were at a crisis permission was granted them, and 
in the name of the Holy Trinity they sallied out in three 
bodies, but the enemies of the faith, on the other hand, came 
forth from their well fortified camp in several masses of 
troops, and although they were a host in comparison witli the 
crusaders, the servants of Christ, trusting to his assistance, 
and armed with valour from on high, bravely attacked them. 


And immediately the virtue of the Most High, by the hands 
of his followers, broke through the enemy, crushing them in 
a moment ; for they turned their backs and fled like dust 
before the wind; some escaped death altogether by Hight, 
some escaping the sword perished in the water, while others 
were slain on the field. For the illustrious king of Arragon 
who fell amongst the slain, much grief is to be felt that he, 
united with the enemies of the faith, and wickedly annoyed 
the catholic church.* A correct account of the number slain 
cannot be given by any means ; but of the crusaders one 
kriiglit only besides a few of the soldiers fell. This battle 
took place on the sixth day of the week after the octaves of 
the nativity of St. Mary, in the month of September, 1213. 

The arrival in England of Nicholas lishop of Tusculum, and legate of the 
apostolic nee. 

About Michaelmas of the same year, Nicholas bishop of 
Tusculum and legate of the apostolic see, came to England 
to settle, by the apostolic authority, the disagreements be- 
tween the throne and the priesthood, and although the 
country was under an interdict, he was everywhere 
honourably received with solemn processions, with music, 
and by the people dressed in holiday clothes ; and on his 
arrival at Westminster, he immediately degraded William 
the abbat, who was accused by his monks of wasteful expen- 
diture and incontinency. At that place there came to him 
seeking absolution the citizens of Oxford, by whose agencv 
and presumption the two clerks, of whom we have made 
mention above, had been hung; in appointing penance for 
them he, amongst other things, ordered them to go to each 
of the churches of the city, laying aside their garments, and 
with naked feet, carrying scourges in their hands, and there 
to chant the fiftieth psalm, and thus obtain absolution from 
the parochial priests ; and they were only allowed to go to 
one church on each day, that they and all others might be 
afraid to show such presumption in future. Thus the legate, 

* " Earl Simon knew from his scouts that the king of Arrngon was ready 
to sit down to table to take his breakfast, and on receiving the information hi* 
jokingly said, when he was sallying out, ' Of a truth 1 will wait on him at 
the first dish." And the said king was the first who was killed, being 
pierced by a sword before he had swallowed three mouthfuls of bread. ' 
M. Paris. 


290 ROGEK OF WEN'DOVER. [A.D. 1213. 

who had come into England with only seven horsemen in his 
train, shortly walked abroad with a train of fifty, and at- 
tended by a numerous household. At length the archbishop 
of Canterbury, with the bishops and nobles of the kingdom, 
met at London in presence of the king and of the cardinal, 
and there for three days a discussion was carried on between 
the throne and the priesthood as to the losses of the bishops, 
and their confiscated property ; on behalf of the king, an 
offer was made, as a full restitution, of a hundred thousand 
marks of silver, to be paid immediately; and if on inquiry it 
could be found that the guardians of the churches or other 
agents of the king had taken away more, he the said king 
made oath and gave security, that, by the decision of the 
bishops and the legate himself, he would before the ensuing 
Easter make satisfaction in full for all their confiscated 
property. The legate agreed to this, wishing it to be settled 
immediately, and was indignant that the offer was not ac- 
cepted at once ; and on this account it was suspected that 
the legate took the king's side more than was right. The 
bishops however prolonged the business, objecting to the 
terms offered, in order that thev might, after holding a 
council, make inquiry as to the confiscated property and 
their losses, and might state the amount thus found out to 
the king, and at the same time receive, what thev demanded. 
The king hearing of this delay, which suited him, at once 
gave his consent, and thus they went away on that day 
without settling their business. 

How king Juhn resigned his crou-n with the kingdoms of Enyland and 
Ireland into the hand* of the leynte. 

On the following day they all again assembled in the 
cathedral church at St. Paul's, where after many and divers 
discussions about the removal of the interdict, before the. 
great altar in presence of the clergy and people, that noto- 
rious though dishonourable submission was again exacted 
from the king, by which he resigned his crown and kingdom 
into the hands of the pope, and surrendered the dominion of 
Ireland as well as the kingdom of : the charter of 
the king too, which had been before sealed with wax and 
delivered to Pandulph, was now stamped with gold, and 
resigned to the legate for the u.-e of our lord the pope and 

A.D. 1213.] LETTER OF 1'OPE INNOCENT. 291 

the church of Rome; and for the restitution of the confiscated 
property, they appointed to meet at Reading on the 3rd of 
November. On the appointed day, when all had as before 
assembled, the king did not make his appearance, but on 
the third day after they again all assembled at Wallingford ; 
and there the king, as before, willingly promised that he 
would satisfy the bishops and all the rest for the property 
which had been confiscated ; but this seemed of little use to 
those whose castles had been thrown down, houses destroyed, 
and whose orchards and woods had been cut down ; there- 
fore the king and the bishops alike agreed to abide by the 
decision of four barons, and thus all would be satisfied by 
their decision. On the Gth of November they again assem- 
bled at Reading, the king and the legate, the archbishop and 
bishops, the nobles, and all the religious men connected with 
the business of the interdict, and at this conference they each 
and all produced a paper containing the amount of the con- 
fiscated property and their losses; but as the legate showed 
favour to the king, the payment of all was postponed except 
in the case of the archbishop and bishops who had been so 
long exiled from England, who there received fifteen marks 
of silver. 

/'opt: Innocent lo Nicholas bishop of Tusculurn, about the vacant churches. 

At this time pope Innocent sent letters to Nicholas, legate 
of the apostolic see, to the following purport : " As the Lord's 
churches cannot better be provided for than when suitable 
pastors are appointed to them, who will desire not so much 
to have authority over them as to promote their welfare, we, 
by these apostolic letters, enjoin your brotherhood, in whom 
we have full confidence, to cause suitable persons, according 
to your own judgment, to be ordained to the bishoprics and 
abbacies in England now vacant, either by election or by 
canonical appointment, who shall be remarkable, not only for 
their mode of life, but also for their learning, and at the same 
time faithful to the king, and of use to the kingdom, and also 
efficacious in giving assistance and advice, the king's consent 
being previously obtained. When therefore we by our 
letters command the chapters of the vacant churches to 
abide by your advice 1 , do you, always having the Lord in 
view, consult on these matters with prudent and honourable 

L- '2 

292 ROGKIl OF WEXDOVER. [A.D. 1214. 

men, who may fully be aware of the merits of persons, 1( ss 
you may be overreached by the craft of any one; but if any 
shall gainsay you or prove contumacious, do you, by means 
of the censure of the church, compel them to obey, without 
appeal. Given at the Lateran, on the first of November, in 
the sixtecntli year of our pontificate." The legate, on re- 
ceiving this authority from the pope, rejected the advice of 
the archbishop and bishops of the kingdom, and, going to 
the vacant churches with the clerks and agents of the king, 
presumed to make appointments to them, according to tin- 
old evil custom of England, of persons little suited to those 
offices ; and some of various orders, who, on manifest cause 
of complaint, appealed to the hearing of the supreme pontiff, 
he suspended and sent to the court of Rome, and to them lie 
showed himself so destitute of humanity, that he did not 
allow them even one penny out of their own money to pay 
their expenses on the journey. Moreover he distributed the 
parochial churches which were vacant in various places 
amongst his own clerks without asking the consent of the, 
patrons ; for which he deserved the malediction of many 
instead of their benediction, inasmuch as he changed justice 
into injury, and judgment into forejudging. 

The appeal of the archbishop of Canterbury as to the appointments of 
vacant churches. 

A.D. 1214. King John at Christmas held his court at 
Windsor, when he distributed festive dresses to a number 
of his nobles. Afterwards, Stephen archbishop of Canter- 
bury, and his suffragans, met at Dunstable to discuss the 
affairs of the English church there ; for they were beyond 
measure annoyed that the legate, as we have before stated, 
in attending to the king's pleasure without consulting with 
them, had appointed unfit persons to the vacant churches 
more by force than by canonical election. After various 
discussion on one subject and another, the archbishop of 
Canterbury at length sent two clerks to Burton on the Trent, 
where the legate then was, to forbid him, by the interpo- 
sition of an appeal on the part of the archbishop of Canter- 
bury, to appoint prelates in the vacant churches in disregard 
of his, the archbishop's, high office, to which the appointment 
to the churches in his own diocese of right belonged. The 

A.D. 1214.] KING JOHN AT POICTOU. 293 

legate however paid no attention to this appeal, but, by the 
king's consent, despatched the before-named Pnndulph to 
the court of Home to counteract the intentions of the arch- 
bishop and bishops; on his arrival there he, in presence of 
the supreme pontiff, vilified the character of the archbishop 
in no slight degree, but he extolled the king of England with 
so much praise, declaring that he had never before seen 
such a humble and moderate king, that John gained great 
favour in the eyes of the pope. One person at that court 
however opposed Pandulph, which was master Simon de 
Langton, brother of the archbishop of Canterbury ; but, as the 
gold-sealed charter of the subjection and tribute of the king- 
doms of England and Ireland had been lately brought to our 
lord the pope by Pandulph, master Simon could not obtain 
a hearing for his opposing arguments. Moreover the said 
Pandulph declared in the presence of the pope, that the 
archbishop and bishops were too strict and covetous in their 
exactions, and about the restitution of the property confiscated 
at the time of the interdict, and that they oppressed the king 
himself and the rights of the kingdom in an unjust manner. 
And thus the purpose of the archbishop and bishops was 
delayed for a time. 

Hoic kinfl John crossed sea to Foictoit. 

In the same year king John sent a large sum of money to 
the chiefs of his army in Flanders, to enable them to harass 
the king of the French, and to ravage his territory, and 
destroy his castles in their hostile incursions ; they therefore, 
in obedience to the king's commands, laid waste the territory 
of the count de Guisne with fire and sword ; they laid siege 
to the castle of Bruncham and destroyed it, taking away in 
chains a number of knights and their attendants who had 
been obliged to surrender themselves ; they also besieged 
Arria, and, after subduing it, destroyed it by fire. They 
took the castle of Liens by assault, slaying a great many, and 
imprisoning those who were taken : they also ravaged the 
territory of Louis son of the French king, in that district. 
King John himself after having sent messengers to Koine for 
the withdrawal of the interdict, embarked on the day of the 
Purification of St. Mary at Portsmouth, accompanied by his 
queen, and in a few days landed with a large army nt 

294 KOC.EK OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1214. 

Rochelle ; and at news of his arrival, several barons of Poictou 
came and swore fealty to him. Afterwards proceeding in 
great force, he reduced a great many castles belonging to his 
enemies; but whoever wishes to know more of what hap- 
pened there, let him read the letters sent by the king to the 
justiciaries of the treasury. 

King John's Irttcr about his proceedings in I'oictou. 

" John, by the ijrncc of God, $c. Be it known to you, that 
when the truce was at an end which we had granted to the 
counts of La March and Augi, and as we found them not 
disposed to make a peace suitable to us, we on the Friday next 
preceding Whitsuntide, crossed with our army to M Servant. 
a castle belonging to Geoffrey de Lusignan ; and although 
many might not believe that it could be taken by assault, 
we, on the day after, which was the eve of Whitsuntide, 
took it by force after one assault, which lasted from early in 
the -morning till one o'clock. On Whitsunday we laid siege 
to another castle of this same Geoffrey's, called ' Novent,' in 
which Geoffrey with his two sons had shut themselves; and 
when, after repeated discharges from our petraries for three 
days, a fitting opportunity t'<>r taking the aforesaid castle was 
approaching, the count de la March came to us, bringing it 
about that the aforesaid Geoffrey threw himself on our 
mercy, together with his two sons, his castle, and every thing 
in it. Whilst we were still there, news was brought us that 
Louis, son of the king of France, had laid siege to a castle be- 
longing to the same ( ieoffrey called 'Muneuntur ;' on hearing 
this, we immediately turned in that direction to meet him, so 
that on the day of the Holy Trinity we were at Parthenay, and 
there the counts de la March and Augi came to us with the 
aforesaid Geoffrey de Lusignan, and did homage and swore 
fealty to us. And, because we had formerly treated with 
the count de la March as to giving our daughter in marriage 
to his son, we granted that favour to him, although the king 
of the French had requested her for his son, but with trea- 
cherous designs ; for we remembered our niece who was 
married to Louis, son of that monarch, and the result of that 
affair; and may God grant us more success in this marriage 
than in the former one ! Now, by the grace of God. an 
opportunity is afforded us of attacking our mortal enemy tin; 

A.D. 1214.] wrmDKAWAL OK THE 1XTF.UIMCT. 295 

king of the French beyond Poictou. And we inform you 
thereof that von may rejoice in our successes. Witness myself 
at Parthenay, in the sixteenth year of our reign." On the 24th 
of June, in the same year, died (iilbcrt bishop of Rochester. 

Letter of pope Innocent on the n-itlnlrawal of the interdict. 

About this time pope Innocent wrote to Nicholas bishop of 
Tusculum, about the withdrawal of the interdict, as follows : 
" Innocent bishop, $c. Our venerable brother John bishop 
of Norwich, and our Ixjloved son Kobcrt de Marisco arch- 
deacon of Northumberland, and the nobles Thomas and Adam 
de Ilardington, the. ambassadors of our well-beloved in Christ, 
John the illustrious king of England of the one part, and 
master Stephen de Langton A. and (1. clerks, messengers of 
our beloved brother Stephen archbishop of Canterbury of the 
other part, having appeared before us, have, by common con- 
sent and deliberately declared, that, to avoid great loss of 
property and serious danger to their souls, it was necessary 
to the kingdom as well as the priesthood that the sentence of 
interdict be withdrawn without delay; wherefore we, in our 
paternal regard have, for their preservation and for the ad- 
vantage of peace, carefully entertained the matter between 
them, and at length, with their acquiescence, we have devised 
and determined on the underwritten terms: "Let the afore- 
said king pay to the archbishop of Canterbury, and the 
bishops of London arid Kly, or to others whom they may 
appoint to receive it, so much money as, when added to what 
the said king has already paid to us, shall amount to the sum 
of forty thousand marks; on the payment of which by him, 
and his giving the undermentioned security, do you im- 
mediately withdraw the sentence of interdict, doing away with 
all appeal or gainsaying. And after this he must pay twelve 
thousand marks yearly, at two fixed periods, namely, .-i\ 
thousand marks on the commemoration of All Saints, and 
the same number at the feast of our Lord's ascension, until 
the whole amount be paid. And, for the due fulfilment of 
this, the said king has bound himself by his own oath and by 
letters patent under his own seal, and also by the suretyship 
of the bishops of Winchester and Norwich, the earls of Win- 
chester and Chester, and William Marshal : that the heirs o 
the said kin<r and their successors shall be held bound by a 

296 noGER OF WEXDOVER. [/V.D. 1211. 

similar engagement ; wherefore we command you, by these 
our apostolic letters, to proceed in this matter according to 
the form above-named, unless the parties of their own free- 
will determine to settle the matter otherwise. Given at the 
Lateran in the sixteenth year of our pontificate." 

Of the re*litution of the confiscated property* 

At the time when Nicholas bishop of Tusculum, legate of 
the apostolic see, received this warrant by the messengers of 
our lord the pope, the king of Kngland was in the transmarine 
provinces; but as he had, on leaving England, entrusted his 
part in this business to the legate and William Marshal, the 
.said legate convened a grand council at St. Paul's in the city 
of London, at which were assembled the archbishops, bishops, 
abbats, priors, earls, barons, and others concerned in this 
affair of the interdict. The said legate there explained to all 
the terms of restitution of the, confiscated property, and of 
satisfaction for losses which had been arranged by the pope 
at, Rome with the consent of the parties ; and he clearly 
ordered that a certificate should be given of the quantity of 
money paid to the bishops and others by the king's agents on 
account of the interdict ; so that, by what money had been 
paid, it might be known how much remained to be paid. It 
was there proved by a sure computation, that the archbishop 
and the monks of Canterbury, with the bishops of London, 
Ely. Hereford, Hath, and Lincoln had, before they returned 
to England from their exile, received twelve thousand marks 
of sterling money by the hands of Pandulph ; also that, since 
their arrival, the said bishops and the monks aforesaid had, 
at the council which was held at Heading on the sixth of 
December, received fifteen thousand marks to be divided 
amongst them ; and this sum, together with the former one 
received, made a total of twenty-seven thousand marks. The 
other fifteen thousand which remained to be paid to make up 
the before-mentioned complement of forty thousand marks, 
remained under the suretyship of the bishops of Winchester 
and Norwich, with letters patent from the king besides for 
further security, according to what was contained in the 
letters of our lord the pope. 

Of the icilhdrairal of the intenlicl. 

After thus arranging matters, on the apostles, St. Peter 

A.D. 1214.] JOHN'S ARMY ix imiTTAxv. 297 

and St. Paul's day, Nicholas bishop of Tusculum, locate of 
the apostolic sec, went to the cathedral church, and there 
amidst the ringing of bells and the chanting of the " Te 
Deum," solemnly revoked the sentence of interdict which had 
lasted for six years, three months, and fourteen days. 

How the legate put off" the restitution of the confiscated property. 

On the removal of the interdict, as above-mentioned, the 
legate was beset by an innumerable multitude of abbats, 
priors, templars, hospitallers, abbesses, nuns, clergy and laity, 
asking for satisfaction to be made to them for losses and 
injuries suffered by them during the time of the interdict; 
for they asserted that, although they had not left England, 
they had endured the incessant persecution of the king and 
his agents, both in person and property, until all their pro- 
perty being confiscated and their persons ill used, they knew 
not whither to turn from the fury of their enemies. But the 
legate in reply to this multitude of complainants, said that of 
their losses and injuries no mention had been made in the 
pope's letters, wherefore he ought not and could not lawfully 
go beyond the bounds of the apostolic mandate ; but he 
nevertheless advised them to lay a complaint of their losses 
and injuries before the pope, and to ask for full justice to be 
shown to them. On hearing this, however, the whole of that 
assembly of complaining prelates, having no hope of better 
luck, returned again to their homes. In the same year, on the 
day of St. Kenelm, the king and martyr, John abbat of the 
church of St. Alban's, a religious and learned man, closed his 
life at a good old age, in the nineteenth year of his pre- 

How king John led his army into Brittany. 

About this time king John led his army forward from 
Poictou into Lesser Britain, and there stayed three days and 
three nights. On arriving near a city called by the inhabi- 
tants Nantes, he determined to attack it ; but the, citizens 
and knights who had been left in charge of the place by the 

* About that time Ralph of Animlel, abbat of Westminster, was depose*! 
by the aforesaid legate on the day after the feast of St. Vincent, his seal 
having been broken in the chapter-house by N. abbat of Westham. ho wns 
sent on behalf of the legate; in Ralph's place was appointed \\ iliium de 
Humes, prior of Frontignac,a monk of Caen. 

298 KOGER OK WF.NDOVER. [A.D. 1214. 

French king, on learning the approach of the English 
monarch, went out to meet him, and at a bridge not far from 
the city they pave battle to the English king's army : but 
king .John, by good luck, gained the victory, taking twenty 
knights in the battle, and amongst the rest the son and heir 
of Robert de Drus, uncle of the French king ; this knight tin- 
king loaded with chains, and took away with him on his 
return. After this the said king marched with his army to 
the castle of Rocheau Maine, and laid siege to it; on hearing 
which Louis, son of the French king, who hud been sent by 
his lather to check the incursions of king John, hastened with 
a large army to the assistance of the besieged. The English 
king, when he learned their approach, sent scouts from his 
army to find out the number and strength of the approaching 
enemy ; these messengers, soon performing the duty assigned 
to them, returned nnd told the king that he, the English 
king, had a much larger force, and therefore earnestly per- 
suaded him to engage? the enemy in open battle, because, by 
doing this, he would without doubt gain a victory over the 
enemy. He therefore, being inspirited by the information of 
his messengers, ordered his soldiers to arms as soon as possi- 
ble, to give open battle to Louis, but the barons of Poictou 
refused to follow the king, saying that they were not pre- 
pared for a pitched battle. King John then, knowing too 
well the accustomed treachery of the nobles of Poictou. 
although the capture of the castle was almost certain, retired 
in great annoyance from the siege. Louis too, when In- 
heard that the English king had mored his camp, feared that 
he would attack him, and fled in an opposite direction from 
king John's ; and thus each army ignorniniotisly taking to 
flight, turned their backs on one another. 

How the king of the French marched against the army of the English kinij 
in frontiers. 

At this time the English king's army in Flanders 
had spread its ravages through several provinces, and wa,- 
now laying waste Poictou in a most relentless manner: in 
this expedition were the, warlike und tried men William duke 
of Holland; Reginald, formerly count of Boulogne; Ferrand 
count of Flanders ; and Hugh de Boves, a brave soldier 
though a cruel and proud man, for he showed his cruel dis- 

A.D. 1214.] BATTLE OF BOL'VLNES. 2<)9 

position in those regions by sparing neither the female s -x 
nor the young children. King John hud appointed his brother 
William carl of Salisbury, marshal over that army, and over 
the knights of the kingdom, to light in conjunction with them, 
and also to give the pay from the treasury to the other soldiers. 
These warriors were moreover assisted and favoured by Otho 
the Roman emperor, with all the forces of the dukes of 
Louvaine and Brabant, who were equally exasperated against 
the French. When all these proceedings came to the know- 
ledge of Philip king of the French, he was much alarmed lest 
he should be unable to defend that part of the country, 
having lately sent his son Louis with a large army into 
Poictou to oppose the English king, and to check his hostile 
incursions there ; and although the said king often thought 
on the common proverb 

" Whose mind to many schemes ia bent, 
On each can scarcely be intent." 

He however collected an army of earls, barons, knights, and 
soldiers, horse and foot, together with the commoners of the 
cities and towns, and advanced in great force to meet his 
enemies, giving orders to the priests, religious men. clerks 
and nuns, to give alms, to offer prayers to God, and to per- 
form services for the firm standing of his kingdom ; after 
which he boldly marched with his army against the enemy. 
Hearing that the latter had already arrived as far as the 
bridge of Bovines in the territory of Pontoise, lie led his 
forces in that direction, and arriving at the aforesaid bridge, 
he crossed the river with his army, and there pitched his 
camp. The heat of the sun was very great, as is usual in 
the month of July, on which account the French determined 
to halt near the river for the sake of refreshing the men as 
well as horses. They arrived at the before-mentioned river 
on a Saturday, about the hour of evening : and, having 
arranged the carts, waggons, and all the vehicles in which 
they conveyed their food and arms, engines of war and 
weapons; to the, right and left they appointed watches all 
round, and rested there for the night. N\ hen morning came, 
and the English commanders were informed that the French 
king had arrived, they held a council, and unanimously de- 
termined to give open battle to the enemy ; but, as it was 

500 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1214. 

Sunday, it seemed to the more prudent men of the army, and 
especially to Reginald, formerly count of Boulogne, that it 
was improper to engage in battle on such a festival, and to 
profane such a day by slaughter and the effusion of human 
blood. The Roman emperor Otho coincided in this opinion, 
and said that he had never gained a triumph on such a day ; 
on hearing this Hugh de Boves broke forth into blasphemy, 
calling count Reginald a base traitor, and reproaching him 
with the lands and large possessions he had received as gifts 
from the king of England ; he added also that, if the battle 
was put off that day, it would redound to the irreparable loss 
of king John, for " delays are always dangerous when things 
are ready." But count Reginald, in reply to the taunts of 
Hugh, said indignantly, "This day will prove me faithful, 
and you the traitor ; for even on this very Sunday, if neces- 
sary, I will stand up in battle for the king, even to the death, 
and you, according to your custom, will, by fleeing from the 
battle, show yourself a most base traitor in the presence of 
all. By these and other abusive words of the said Hugh, 
the whole multitude were stirred up and excited to battle ; 
they therefore all flew to arms and boldly prepared for fight- 
ing. When all were armed, they arranged themselves in 
three bodies, over the first of which they appointed Fer- 
rand count of Flanders, Reginald earl of Boulogne, and 
William earl of Salisbury, as commanders ; the command of 
the second they gave to William duke of Holland, and 
Hugh de Boves, with his Brabant followers ; the command 
of the third was assigned to Otho the Roman emperor 
and his fighting men : and in this manner they slowly 
marched forth against the enemy, and arrived in sight of 
the French army. When the French king saw that his 
enemies were prepared for a pitched battle, he ordered the 
bridge in his rear to be broken down, that, in case any of 
his army should endeavour to fly, they should have no where 
to fly except amongst the enemy. The French king having 
drawn up his troops, surrounded by his waggons and other 
vehicles, as already mentioned, there awaited the assault of 
his enemies. In short, the battalions commanded by the 
above-named counts burst upon the ranks of the French 
with such impetuosity, that in a moment they broke their 
ranks, and forced their way even up to where the Fremh 

A.D. 1214.] UATTLK OF BOUVINES. 301 

king was. Count Reginald, when he saw the king who had 
disinherited him and expelled him from his county, couched 
his lance against him, and having forced him to the ground, 
was preparing to slay him with his sword ; but one of the 
soldiers, who had been appointed as a body-guard for the 
king, exposed himself to the blows of the count and was 
killed in his stead. The French, seeing their king on the 
ground, rushed impetuously and in great force to iiis assist- 
ance, and re-mounted him on his horse ; then the battle raged 
on both sides, swords glistened like lightning around hel- 
meted heads, and the conflict was most severe on both sides. 
The before-mentioned counts with the body of troops under 
their command had become separated from the rest of their 
fellow soldiers, and their retreat, as well as the advance of 
the rest of the army to their succour was stopped ; and thus 
their small body not being able to withstand the attacks of 
sucji numbers of the French, at length gave way, and in this 
manner the aforesaid counts with the whole of the band 
which they commanded, were, after showing great bravery, 
taken and made prisoners. 

Conclusion of the battle. 

Whilst these events were passing round king Philip, the 
counts of Champagne, Perche, and St. Paul, with many 
other nobles of the French kingdom, made an attack on the 
troops above-mentioned to be commanded by Hugh de Boves, 
and put that noble to flight, together with all the troops 
collected from the different provinces ; and in their base 
flight they were pursued at the sword's point by the French 
as far as the position of the emperor; therefore, after their 
flight, all the weight of the battle was in an instant thrown 
on the latter. The above-named counts then summoned him 
and endeavoured to slay him or to compel him to surrender ; 
but he, holding his sword, sharp on one side like a knife, 
with both hands, dealt such insupportable blows on all sides, 
that he either stunned all whom he struck, or levelled riders 
and horses with the ground. His enemies, fearing to come 
too near him, killed three horses under him with their lances, 
but by the bravery of his troops, he was each time re- 
mounted, and renewed his attacks more fiercely; at length 
Ids enemies left him and his followers unconquered, und he 

302 UOGKR OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1214. 

retreated from the battle without harm to himself or his 
followers. The kin? of the French, in his joy for such an Tin- 
expected victory, gave thanks to God for having granted 
him such a triumph over his enemies. The three counts 
above named, with a great number of knights and others, 
were taken away to be imprisoned. This battle took place 
on the 27th of .July. 15y this misfortune the English king 
ineffectually spent the forty thousand marks which he had 
taken from the monks of the Cistercian order during the 
time of the interdict, thus verifying the proverb, 
" Inglorious spoil will never end in good." 

When at length the news of this event came to king John's 
knowledge he was thrown into dismay, and said to those about 
him, "Since I became reconciled to God, and submitted myself 
and my kingdoms to the church of Rome, woe is me, nothing 
has gone properously with me, and every thing unlucky has 
happened to me." In this same year John bishop 'of 
Norwich, when returning from the court of Rome, died in 
the territory of Pole-ton, and his body was brought to Eng- 
land, and buried with honour in the church at Norwich. 

Of a truer. Hindi- between the French and English kings. 

AfU>r the events above-mentioned, by the intervention of 
religious men, a truce was agreed on in the transmarine 
provinces between Philip and John, the French and English 
kings, in this form : " Philip, by the grace of (]<>(/, kiny of 
the French, to all ic/to shall sec these letters, yrcetiny. lie it 
known to you, that we have granted to king John and his 
men who have appeared in the field on his behalf since this 
last war, up to the Thursday next after the exaltation of the 
Holy Cross in September, a truce in due form from us and 
our men, who have appeared on the field in our behalf, until 
next Easter, that shall be in the year of our Lord 1215, and 
for five full years after the said Easter ; saving however to 
us, our prisoners whom we have in our power, and saving 
the oath which the towns of Flanders and Ilainault made to 
us; and saving in a like manner to king John the prisoners 
he has in his power. And we and our subjects and adven- 
turers will remain in the same position as we were on the 
aforesaid Thursday, till the end of the aforesaid five years. 
And those who arc to dictate and arrange the terms of this 


truce made between us and the king of England, shall be, on 
behalf of us, 1*. Savary, Guy Turpin, abbat of Marmontier, 
and C. archdeacon of Tours; on behalf of the king of Eng- 
land, Hugh de Bourg seneschal of Poictou, R. de 1'onte 
abbat of St. John in England, and the dean of Christaton. 
And all these have sworn in good faith that, for the .settle- 
ment of all differences and complaints which may arise in 
Poietou, Anjou, Brittany, or Tours, they will meet at the 
convent of Fulcirelle ; and for other complaints which may 
arise in Bourges, Auvergne, the. counties of La Ma re he and 
Limosin, they will meet to arrange matters in those pro- 
vinces." On the 5th of October in this year Richard dean 
of Salisbury, and Walter de Gray chancellor of England, 
were, by Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, consecrated 
bishops, the former to the church of (Jhichester, and the 
latter to that of Winchester. About this time too, on the 
19th of October, king John, having settled all his business in 
the transmarine provinces, returned home to England. 

OJ 'a conference held liy the barons against ktny John. 

About this time the earls and barons of England assem- 
bled at St. Edmund's, as if for religious duties, although it was 
for some other reason ; for after they had discoursed together 
secretly for a time, there; was placed before them the charter 
of king Henry the First, which they had received, as men- 
tioned before, in the city of London from Stephen archbishop 
of Canterbury. This charter contained certain liberties and 
laws granted to the holy church as well as to the nobles of 
the kingdom, besides some liberties which the king added of 
his own accord. All therefore assembled in the church of 
St. Edmund, the king and martyr, and, commencing from 
those of the highest rank, they all swore on the, great altar 
that, if the king refused to grant these liberties and laws. 
they themselves would withdraw from their allegiance to 
him, and make war on him, till he should, bv a charter 
under his own seal, confirm to them every thing they re- 
ijiiired ; and finally it was unanimously agreed thai, after 
Christmas, they should all go together to the. king and 
demand the confirmation of the aforesaid liberties to them, 
and that they should in the meantime provide themselves with 
horses and arms, so that if the king t>hould endeavour to 

304 ROCEi: OF WEXDOVER. [A.D. 121d. 

depart from his oath, they might by taking his ensiles, 
compel him to satisfy their demands ; nnd having arranged 
this, each man returned home. 

Of William, abbat of the church of Si. Aldan's. 

In this year, John, abbat of the church of St. Alban's, was 
succeeded by William, a monk of the same church, who was 
solemnly elected on the day of St. Edmund the king and 
martyr, which was the fifth day of the week, and, on the 
day of St. Andrew the apostle, which was the first Sunday 
of our Lord's advent, he was pontifically and solemnly con- 
secrated before the great altar in St. Alban's church by 
Eustace bishop of Ely ; and the promotion of this man is 
said to have been shown in a nocturnal vision to some of 
the brothers of that monastery, even before the election was 
made. The first abbat of the church of St. Alban, the Eng- 
lish protomartyr, was, Willegod, who was appointed abbat. 
and ordered to observe a regular course of life on the first of 
August in the year of our Lord seven hundred and ninety- 
four, by Offa king of the Mercians, after the martyr's body 
had been found, and the monks introduced, though the 
church was not then built; to Willegod succeeded Edrie, 
Wolsius, Wolnoth, Edfred, Wolsin, Alfric, Eldred, Edmar, 
Leofric, who was made archbishop of Canterbury ; to him 
succeeded Alfric, brother of the said Leofric ; to Alfric suc- 
ceeded Leofstan, Frederic, Paul, Richard, Geoffrey, Ralph, 
Robert, Simon, Warin, John, and to John succeeded William 
the twenty-second abbat, who was appointed to the office in 
the sixteenth year of king John's reign. 

Of the demand made by the barons of England for their rights. 

A.D. 1215; which was the seventeenth year of the reign 
of king John ; he held his court at Winchester at Christmas 
for one day, after which he hurried to London, and took up 
his abode at the New Temple; and at that place the above- 
mentioned nobles, came to him in gay military array, and 
demanded the confirmation of the liberties and laws of 
king Edward, with other liberties granted to them and to 
the kingdom and church of England, as were contained in 
the charter, and above-mentioned laws of Henry the First; 
they also asserted that, at the time of his absolution at Win- 

A.D. 1215.] DKATH OF BISHOP KUSTAf K. 30o 

cliester, he had promised to restore those laws and ancient 
liberties, and was bound by his own oath to observe them. 
The king, hearing the bold tone of the barons in making tlii-< 
demand, much feared an attaek from them, as he saw that 
they were prepared for battle ; IK; however made answer 
that their demands were a matter of importanee and ditli- 
culty, and he therefore asked a truce till the end of Easter, 
that he might, after due deliberation, he able to satisfy them 
as well as the dignity of his crown. After much discussion 
on both .sides, the king at length, although unwillingly, pro- 
cured the archbishop of Canterbury, the bishop of Ely, and 
William Marshal, as his sureties, that on the day pre-agreed 
on he would, in all reason, satisfy them all, on which the 
nobles returned to their homes. The king however, wishing 
to take precautions against the future, caused all the nobles 
throughout England to swear fealty to him alone against all 
men, and to renew their homage to him ; and, the better to 
take care of himself, he, on the day of St. Mary's purification, 
assumed the cross of our Lord, being induced to this more 
by fear than devotion. In the same year Eustace bishop of 
Ely, a man well skilled in divine as well as human know- 
ledge, died at Reading. 

Of the principal person* who compelled the kituj to grant the laws and 


In Easter week of this same year, the above-mentioned 
nobles assembled at Stamford, with horses and arms ; for 
they had now induced almost all the nobility of the whole 
kingdom to join them, and constituted a very large army ; for 
in their army there were computed to be two thousand 
knights, besides horse soldiers, attendants, and foot soldiers, 
who were variously equipped. The chief promoters of this 
pestilence were Robert Fitz-Walter, Eustace de Vescy, 
Richard de Percy, Robert de Roos, Peter de Bruis, Nicho- 
las de Stutcville, Saer earl of Winchester, R. earl of 
Clare, II. earl Clare, earl Roger Bigod, William de 
Munbray, Roger de Creissi, Ranulph Fitz-Robert, Robert 
de Vere, Ftilk Fitz-Warine, William Mallet, William de 
Montacute, William de Beauchamp, S. de Kime, William 
Marshall junior, William Maudut, Roger de Mont-Be- 
gon, John Fitz-Robert, John Fitz-Alan, G. de Laval, 
O. Fitz-Alan, W. de llobregge, O. des Vaux, G. de Gaut, 

L be> v 

306 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1216. 

Maurice de Gant, R. de Braekele, R. de Muntiichet, W. de 
Lanvalei, G. tie Mandeville carl of Essex, William his 
brother, William de lluntingefeld, Robert de Greslci, G. 
constable of Mcnutun, Alexander de Puinter, Peter Fit/- 
John, Alexander de Sutune, Osbert de Bobi, John constable 
of Chester, Thomas de Mulutune, and many others; all of 
these being united by oath, were supported by the concur- 
rence of Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, who was at their 
head. The king at this time was awaiting the arrival of his 
nobles at Oxford. On the Monday next after the octaves of 
Easter, the said barons assembled in the town of Brack- 
ley : and when the king learned this, he sent the archbishop 
of Canterbury, and William Marshal earl of Pembroke, with 
some other prudent men, to them to inquire what the laws and 
liberties were which they demanded. The barons then de- 
livered to the messengers a paper, containing in great mea- 
sure the laws and ancient customs of the kingdom, and 
declared that, unless the king immediately granted them and 
confirmed them under his own seal, they would, by taking 
possession of his fortresses, force him to give them sufficient 
satisfaction as to their before-named demands. The arch- 
bishop with his fellow messengers then carried the paper to 
the king, and read to him the heads of the paper one by 
one throughout. The king when he heard the purport of 
these heads, derisively said, with the greatest indignation, 
" Why, amongst these unjust demands, did not the barons 
ask for my kingdom also ? Their demands are vain and 
visionary, and are unsupported by any plea of reason what- 
ever." And at length he angrily declared with an oath, that 
he would never grant them such liberties as would render 
him their slave. The principal of these laws and liberties, 
which the nobles required to be confirmed to them, are 
partly described above in the charter of king Henry, and 
partly are extracted from the old laws of king Edward, as 
the following history will show in due time. 

Tlie castle of Northampton besieged by the barons, 

As the archbishop and William Marshall could not by any 
persuasions induce the king to agree to their demands, they 
returned by the king's order to the barons, and duly reported 
all they had heard from the king to them ; and when the 


nobles heard whut John said, they appointed Robert Fitz- 
Walter commander of their soldiers, giving him the title 
of " Marshal of the army of God and the holy church," 
and then, one and all flying to arms, they directed their 
forces towards Northampton. On their arrival there they 
at once laid siege to the castle, but after having stayed there 
for iifteen days, and having gained little or no advantage, 
they determined to move their camp ; for having come with- 
out petraria; and other engines of war, they, without accom- 
plishing their purpose, proceeded in confusion to the castle 
of Bedford. At that siege the standard-bearer of Robert 
Fitz- Walter, amongst others slain, was pierced through the 
head with an arrow from a cross-bow and died, to the grief 
of many. 

How the city of London was given up to the barons. 

When the army of the barons arrived at Bedford, they 
were received with all respect by William de Beauchamp. 
There also came to them there messengers from the city of 
London, secretly telling them, if they wished to get into that 
city, to come there immediately. The barons, inspirited 
by the arrival of this agreeable message, immediately moved 
their carnp and arrived at Ware ; after this they marched 
the whole night, and arrived early in the morning at the city 
of London, and, finding the gates open, they, on the 24th of 
May, which was the Sunday next before our Lord's ascen- 
sion, entered the city without any tumult whilst the inhabit- 
ants were performing divine service ; for the rich citizens 
were favourable to the barons, and the poor ones were afraid 
to murmur against them. The barons having thus got into the 
city, placed their own guards in charge of each of the gates, 
and then arranged all matters in the city at will. They then 
took security from the citizens, and sent letters throughout 
England to those earls, barons, and knights, who appeared 
to be still faithful to the king, though they only pretended to 
be so, and advised them with threats, as they regarded the 
safety of all their property and possessions, to abandon a 
king who was perjured and who warred against his barons, 
and together with them to stand firm and fight against the 
king for their rights and for peace; and that, if they refused 
to do this, they, the barons, would make war against them 

x 2 

308 ROGEK OF WEXDOVER. [A.D. 1210. 

all, as against open enemies, and would* destroy their 
castles, burn their houses and other buildings, and destroy 
their warrens, parks, and orchards. The names of some of 
those who had not as yet sworn to strive for these liberties 
were, William Marshal earl of Pembroke, Ralph earl of 
Chester, William earl of Salisbury, William earl Warrenne, 
William earl of Albemarle, H. earl of Cornwall, W. d'Albi- 
ney, Robert de Vipont, Peter Fitz-Hubert, Brian de IMsle, 
G. de Lucy, G. de Furnival, Thomas Basset, Henry de 
Braibroc, John de Bassingeburne, William de Cantelu, 
Henryde Cornhulle, John Fitz-Hugh, Hugh de Neville, 
Philip de Albeney, John Marshal, and William Briuerre ; 
the greatest part of these, on receiving the message of the 
barons, set out to London and joined them, abandoning the. 
king entirely. The pleas of the exchequer and of the 
sheriff's courts ceased throughout England, because there 
was no one to make a valuation for the king or to obey him 
in any thing.* 

The conference between (he king and the barons. 

King John, when he saw that he was deserted by almost 
all, so that out of his regal superabundance of followers he 
scarcely retained seven knights, was much alarmed lest the 
barons would attack his castles and reduce them without 
difficulty, as they would find no obstacle to their so doing ; 
and he deceitfully pretended to make peace for a time with 
the aforesaid barons, and sent William Marshal earl of Pem- 
broke, with other trustworthy messengers, to them, and told 
them that, for the sake of peace, and for the exaltation and 
honour of the kingdom, he would willingly grant them the 
laws and liberties they required ; he also sent word to the 

" About the same time the king concealed his secret hatred of the 
barons under a calm countenance, and planning revenge, caused the Heals of 
all the bishops to be counterfeited, as it is commonly called, and wrote 
word in their names to all countries, that the English were all apostates, 
and to be detested by the whole world. And whoever would attack these 
apostates, he would bestow on him, with the consent of them, and by 
authority of the pope, all their lands and possessions. But when the 
people of foreign countries heard these promises, they put no faith in them, 
because they knew that the Knglish were of all Christians the most stead- 
fast ; and when they discovered the truth they detested such crimes and 
falsehoods, and thus the king fell into the net which he had himself 
pread." M. J'arit. 

A.D. 1215.] MAGNA CI1AHTA. 309 

barons by these same messengers, to appoint a fitting day 
and place to meet and carry all these matters into effect. 
The king's messengers then came in all haste to London, and 
without deceit reported to the barons all that had been de- 
ceitfully imposed on them ; they in their great joy appointed 
the fifteenth of June for the king to meet them, at a field 
lying between Staines and Windsor. Accordingly, at the 
time and place pre-agreed on, the king and nobles came to 
the appointed conference, and when each party had stationed 
themselves apart from the other, they began a long discussion 
about terms of peace and the aforesaid liberties. There were 
present on behalf of the king, the archbishops, Stephen of 
Canterbury, and II. of Dublin; the bishops W. of London, 
P. of Winchester, H. of Lincoln, J. of Bath, Walter of 
Worcester, W. of Coventry, and Benedict of Rochester; 
master Pandulph familiar of our lord the pope, and brother 
Alrneric the master of the knights-templars in England ; 
the nobles, William Marshal earl of Pembroke, the earl of 
Salisbury, earl Warrenne, the earl of Arundel, Alan de Gal- 
wcy, W. Fitz-Gerald, Peter Fitz-Herbert, Alan Basset, 
Matthew Fitz-Herbert, Thomas Basset, Hugh de Neville, 
Hubert de Burgh seneschal of Poictou, Robert de Ropeley, 
John Marshal, and Philip d'Aubeny. Those who were on 
behalf of the barons it is not necessary to enumerate, since 
the whole nobility of England were now assembled together 
in numbers not to be computed. At length, after various 
points on both sides had been discussed, king John, seeing 
that he was inferior in strength to the barons, without raising 
any difficulty, granted the underwritten laws and liberties, 
and confirmed them by his charter as follows : 

Charter of king John as to the grant of common rights to the barons. 

" John, by the grace of God, king of England, $c. Be it 
known, that we, looking to God and for the safety of our 
soul, and those of our ancestors and our heirs, have, for the 
honour of God, the exaltation of the holy church, and the 
amendment of our kingdom,* conceded to God, and by this 

* Paris inserts here : " By the advice of our venerable fathers, Stephen 
archbishop of Canterbury primate of all England, and a cardinal of the 
holy Roman church, Henry archbishop of Dublin, and the bishops 
William of London, Peter of Winchester Jocelyu of Bath and Glaatou- 

310 ROGER OF AVF.NDOVER. [A.D. 1215. 

our present charter have confirmed, on behalf of us and our 
heirs for ever, that the church of England be a free church, 
and keep its laws entire, and its liberties uninfringed, and 
we wish it to be observed so, inasmuch as it appears that the 
liberty of elections, which is considered to be of the greatest 
importance and most necessary to the English church, was 
granted by us, of our own free will, and confirmed by our 
charter, before any open disagreement had arisen between us 
and our barons, and we obtained a confirmation of it from 
our lord pope Innocent the third, and we will keep it our- 
selves and wish it to be observed by our heirs in good faith 
for ever. Also to all our free subjects of the kingdom of 
England, we, for ourselves and our heirs for ever, have 
granted all the underwritten liberties, to be had and to lx> 
held by them and their heirs from us and our heirs. If an\ 
one of our earls, or barons, or any others holding possession 
from us in chief by knight's service, shall die, and, after his 
decease, his heir shall be of age. and shall owe relief, he 
shall take his inheritance by the old relief; that is to say, the 
heir or heirs of an earl shall pay a hundred pounds for the 
entire barony of the earl, the heir or heirs of a baron a 
hundred marks for the whole of his barony, and the heir or 
heirs of a knight a hundred shillings at most for the whole 
of his knight's fee, and whoever owes less let him pay less, 
according to the old custom of fees. But if the heir of any 
one of these shall be under age, his lord shall not have 
custody of him or his land, before he has received his homage, 
and after that such heir shall be in wardship, and attain the 
age of twenty-one years, he shall take up his inheritance 
without relief or fine; so that if the heir himself, whilst 
under age, be made a knight, nevertheless his land shall 
remain in the custody of his lord till the before-named 
period. The guardian of the property of an heir under age. 

bury, Hugh of Lincoln, Walter of Worcester, William of Coventry, and 
Benedict of Rochester, of master Pandulph, sub-deacon and familiar ol 
our lord the pope, the master of the knights-templars in England, and of 
the nobles William Marshall earl of 1'embroke, W. earl of Salisbury. 
William earl Warrenne, William earl of Arundel, Alan de Lewey constable 
of Scotland, Warin Fitz-Gerard, Peter Fit/-Hcrbert, Hubert de Bourn 
seneschal of Poictou, Hugh de Neville, Matthew Fitz-Hcrbert, Thomas 
Bawet, Alan Basset, Philip Daubcney, Robert de Ropesle, John Marshal/, 
John Fitz-Hugh, and others of our faithful subjects amongst the first." 

A.D. 1215.] MAONA CIIARTA. 311 

shall take from the land of the said heir only reasonable out- 
goings, reasonable customs, arid reasonable service, and these 
without destruction of, or damage to, person or property. 
And it' we entrust the guardianship of such land to any one, 
either a sheriff or any other, who ought to answer to us for 
the outgoings of that land, and he in his guardianship causes 
destruction or waste to it, we will take compensation from 
him, and the land shall be entrusted to two liege and prudent 
men of that fee, who shall in the same way answer to us as 
above-mentioned. But the guardian, as long as he holds 
charge of the land, shall, from the produce thereof, support 
all houses, parks, warrens, lakes, mills, and other appurte- 
nances of that land ; and shall, when the heir comes of age, 
restore the land to him furnished with ploughs and all other 
things, at least as well as he received it. All these rules 
shall be observed in the guardianships of archbishoprics, 
bishoprics, abbacies, priories, churches and vacant dignities, 
which belong to us, except that the wardships of these ought 
not to be sold. Heirs may marry without disparagement. 
A widow, after the death of her husband, may immediately, 
and without any difficulty, take possession of her marriage 
portion, and her inheritance, and shall not give anything for 
her dowry, marriage portion, or the inheritance which she 
and her husband possessed on the day of that husband's 
decease ; and she may remain in the principal house of her 
husband for forty days after the death of her said husband, 
during which time her dowry shall be allotted to her, unless 
it has been previously allotted to her, or unless that house be 
a castle : and if she goes away from a castle, a fitting house 
shall be. provided for her, in which she can stay in a becom- 
ing manner till her dowry is allotted to her, according to 
what has been stated above, and she shall have a reasonable 
allowance for herself out of the common property; and there 
shall be allotted to her for her dowry a third portion of all 
her husband's land, which was his in his life-time, unless she 
received h-ss as a dowry at the door of the church. No 
widow shall be bound to marry when she wishes to live withr 
out a husband ; but if she holds property of us she shall give 
security that she will not marry without our consent. And 
we and our bailiffs will not seize any land or property tor 
any debt as long as the chattels of the debtor, then in his 

312 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1215. 

possession, are sufficient to pay the debt and the debtor him- 
self is willing to satisfy our demand out of them. And the 
debtor's sureties shall not be bound as long as the debtor 
personally is able to pay the debt, and if the debtor himself 
fails to pay the debt, not possessing means of payment, or 
refusing to pay although he is able, his sureties shall be 
answerable for the debt ; and if they wish it they shall have 
the lands and income of the debtor, until they are satisfied 
for the debt, which they have pre-paid for him, unless the 
debtor himself shows that he was quit of it to the said 
sureties. The city of London* shall have all its old liberties 
and its free customs. Moreover we will and grant that all 
other cities, towns, and villages, and barons of the cinque 
ports, and all our ports, shall have all their liberties and 
customs free. Jso one shall be bound to do greater service 

" Whoever accepts a loan from a Jew, he it more or less, and dies 
before paying that debt, the debt shall not be charged with interest as long 
as his heir is under age, of whomsoever he may hold ; and if that debt 
should fall into our hands we will only seize the chattels mentioned in the 
charter. And if any one dies, owing a debt to Jews, his wife shall receive 
her dowry, and shall not pay anything for that debt. And if any children 
of the deceased survive, who are under age, they shall be provided with 
necessaries according to the tenement which the deceased held, and with 
what remains the debt shall be paid, saving, however, the service due to 
their lords. And the same shall be the case when debts are contracted 
with others besides Jews. We will not levy any scutage or tax in our 
kingdom without the advice of the kingdom in general, unless it be to 
ransom our body, to make a knight of our eldest son, and to marry our 
eldest daughter once, and for this only a reasonable tax shall IK- levied. 
And the same shall be observed with regard to the taxes of the city of 
London ; and the city of London shall enjoy all its old liberties and free 
customs both by land and water. And moreover we will and grant leave 
for all other cities, boroughs, and towns, and the barons of the cinque 
ports, to enjoy all their liberties and free customs. And in order to obtain 
the general opinion of the kingdom as to levying taxes in any cases except 
those three above-mentioned, and as to levying scutages, we will summon, 
by our letters under our seal, the archbishops, bishops, abhaUt, earls, and 
chief barons of the kingdom. And we will moreover by means of our sheriff's 
and bailiffs, summon all others in general, who hold of us in chief, to meet at a 
fixed place, and at a fixed time, namely, at the term of forty days at least. 
In all our letters of summons we will set forth the cause of that summons ; 
and after having thus summoned them the business shall be proceeded with 
on the appointed day according to the plans of those who may be present, 
although all who were summoned may not have comr. Henceforth we do 
not permit any one to levy a tax from his freemen, unless to ransom his 
body, or to make his eldest son a knight, or to marry his eldest daughter 
once, and only a reasonable tax shall be levied for this purpose." At. 1'aris. 

A.l>. 1215.] MAGNA CUAKTA. 313 

for a knight's fee, or for any other free tenement than he 
ought to do for it. The common pleas shall not accompany 
our court, but shall be held in some fixed place. Recogni- 
zances lor new disseising, and the death of an ancestor, shall 
only be taken in their own counties and in this manner. We, 
or if we are out of the kingdom, our chief justiciary, will 
send our justiciaries through each county once a year, who 
will, with the knights of the counties hold the before-men- 
tioned assize in each county ; and those tilings, which at 
their arrival in the counties could not be determined by the. 
aforesaid messengers at the aforesaid assizes, shall be deter- 
mined elsewhere by the same messengers on their journey ; and 
those things which could not, on account of some ditlkulty in 
the points in question, be determined by the said messengers, 
shall be referred to our justiciaries of the bench and there 
determined. The assizes concerning the last presentation to 
the churches shall always be held before the justiciaries of 
the bench, and there determined. A freeman shall be fined 
for a small offence only according to the degree of his fault, 
and for a great olfenee according to the greatness of his 
offence, saving his tenements ; and, in the same way, a 
merchant, saving his merchandize ; and a villain of any 
other person except ourselves shall be amerced in the same 
manner, saving his wannage,* if he throws himself on our 
mercy. And none of the aforesaid allowances shall be made, 
unless on the oath of tried and lawful men of the neighbour- 
hood in the county. Earls and barons shall only be lined by 
their peers, and then only according to the degree of their 
offence. No ecclesiastic shall be lined according to the 
degree of his ecclesiastical benefice, but according to his lay 
possessions, and tho degree of his offence. No town or 
person shall be bound to make bridges over rivers, unless 
bound in duty to do so by old custom and by right. No 
river shall be embanked anew, unless those which were 
embanked at the time of king Henry our grandfather. No 
sheriff, constable, or coroner, or other bailiffs of ours shall 
hold pleas of our crown. f If any one holding lay fees from 

* Farming-stock. 

f Paris ndds: "All countries, hundreds, wupentakes, anil tithings, shall 
he set at their ancient farmage without any increase, except the manors of 
our domain." 

31 1 ROGKK OK WENDOVEIl. [A.D. 1'215. 

us dies, and our sheriff or bailiff shows our letters patent, 
with a warning from us of the debt which the deceased owed 
us, it shall be lawful for our sheriff or bailiff to attach and 
reduce to writing the chattels of the deceased winch, are 
found in his lay fee, to the value of that debt, according to 
the decision of legal men, so that nothing may be moved 
from thence till our debt is ascertained and paid, and then 
the residue shall be left to the deceased's executor to execute 
his will ; and if he owes us nothing, all the chattels shall go out 
to the deceased, except reasonable portions for his wit'e and 
his sons.* No constable or bailiff of his shall take the corn or 
chattels of any one who does not belong to the town where 
the eastle is situated, unless he immediately pays him money, 
or has regard for the same at the will of the seller ; but if he 
belongs to that town, he shall pay the price within forty 
days. No constable shall compel any knight to pay him for 
taking care of his castle, if he wishes to do it personally, or by 
some other approved person, if he cannot do it by reasonable 
cause ; and if we shall send him to the army, he shall be 
quit of his wardship as long as he is detained by us in the 
army, as regards the i'ee for which he served in our army. 
No bailiff, sheriff, or other agent of ours, shall take horses or 
carts belonging to any one for carriage of goods, unless he 
pays the livery determined on of old ; that is to say, for a 
cart with two horses ten pence a day, and for one with three 
horses fourteen pence a day. No cart belonging to any 
ecclesiastical person, or knight, or any lady, shall be taken 
by the aforesaid bailiffs ; nor will we, or our bailiffs, or any 
others take wood belonging to another to make our castles or 
to do our work, unless by consent of the party to whom the 
wood belongs. We will retain the lands of those convicted 
of felony only for one year and one day, and then they shall 
be given up to the lords of the fees. All the weirs shall be 
hereafter done away with entirely in the Thames and the 
Medway, and throughout all Kurope except at the sea-coast. 
The brief called 'praeeipe," shall hereafter not issue to any 
one for any tenure whereby a free man may lose his court. 

* Paris gives in addition: "If any free man dies intestate, his poods 
shall be distributed, according to the derision of the church, by his relative*, 
parents, or friends, saving to each of them the debts which the deceased 
owed him." 


There shall be one measure for wine and beer throughout the 
whole of our kingdom, and one measure for corn, namely, 
the London quarter; and one width for dyed cloths, russets, 
and hauberjets, namely, two ells inside the binding ; and 
with weights it shall be as with measures. Nothing shall 
hereafter be given for a writ of inquisition by any one requir- 
ing an inquisition as to life or limb, but it shall be granted 
free without denial. If any one holds from us by fee farm, 
or soeeage, or burgage, and holds land from another person by 
knight service, we will not have the wardship of his heir or 
his land, which is of another's fee, on the pretext of that fee- 
farm, soeeage, or burgage. Nor will we hold the wardship 
of that fee-farm, soeeage, or burgage, unless the fee farm itself 
owes knight service. We ought not to have the wardship of 
the heir or land which he holds from another by knight's 
service, on the pretext of any petty scrgeantry, which he 
holds from us by the service of offering a knife, arrow, or 
any other thing of the kind. No bailiff shall henceforth put 
any one to the law or to his oath, on his simple assertion, 
unless credible witnesses be brought to that effect. No free 
person shall be taken or imprisoned, or shall be dispossessed 
of any free tenement of his, or his liberties or free customs, 
nor shall he be outlawed, or be punished in any other way, 
nor will we come upon him, nor send him to prison, unless 
by legal decision of his equals, or by the law of the land. 
We will not sell the right and justice to any one, nor will we 
refuse it or put it off. All traders, unless openly forbidden, 
shall have free egress from and ingress to England, both to 
stay and to go, both by land and water, to buy or sell without 
any extortion, according to old and just customs; unless in 
time of war, and they belong to the country at war with us; 
and if such be found in our territory at the beginning of the 
war, they shall be seized without damage to their persons or 
property, until we, or our chief justiciary, learn how the 
merchants of our country are treated in the country at war 
with us and, if our merchants are safe with them, theirs shall 
be safe with us.* If any one holds from any escheat, as 

* Paris adds : " It shall be henceforth lawful for every one to leave, and 
return to, our kingdom safely and securely by land and water, saving our 
faith, unless in time of war, for a short time tor the advantage <>t the king- 
dom ; except in the- case of prisoners and outlaws, according to the law of 

316 ROGER OK WENDOVER. [A.D. 1215. 

from the honour of Wallingford, Boulogne, Lancaster, Not- 
tingliara, or t'roin other escheats which are in our hands, and 
are baronies, and dies, his heir shall not give any other 
relief, nor do any other service for us than he would do for a 
baron, if that barony was in the hands of a baron ; and we 
will hold it in the same way as the baron held it ; nor will 
we on the pretext of such barony or escheat, hold any 
escheat* or wardship of any of our subjects unless he who 
held the barony or escheat, held elsewhere from us in chief. 
No freeman henceforth shall give or sell so much of his land 
to any one, that he is disabled from discharging, out of tin- 
residue, the service which is due to his lord for that fee. All 
the patrons of abbacies, who have from the king of England 
charters of advowson, or who hold through ancient tenure or 
possession, shall have charge of those abbacies, when they 
become vacant, as they ought to have, and as has been above 
declared. No man shall be taken or imprisoned, on the 
appeal of a woman, for the death of any one except that 
woman's own husband. No county shall henceforth be held 
unless from month to month ; and where the term has been 
used to be longer, it shall be longer ; and no sheriff or 
bailiff of it shall make his term in the hundred more than 
twice a year, and then only at the proper and accustomed 
times, that is to say, once after Easter and again after 
Michaelmas. And in like manner, the view of frank pledge 
shall take place at the said term of Michaelmas without fail, 
so that each person may have his own liberties, such as he 
had, and has been accustomed to have, at and since the time 
of king Henry our grandfather, or which he has gained 
since ; and the view of frank pledge shall be held, so that 
our peace may be kept, and that the tithing may be unharmed 
as it used to be ; and that the sheriff shall not seek pretexts, 
and that he shall be content with receiving what the sheriff 
has been accustomed to receive for making his view in the 
time of our grandfather king Henry. No one shall hence- 

the kingdom, and the people warring u^aiust us, and their merchants con- 
cerning whom the rules above-mentioned shall be observed." 

* Paris adds: " 1'eople who dwell out of the forest, shall not hence- 
forth appear before our justiciaries of the forest unleiw they be impleadcd, 
or are pledges of any person or persons who are attached on account of the 
forest. And all the woods, which were afforested by our brother king 
Richard, shall be immediately deforested, except those of our domain." 

A.D. 121o.] MAGNA CHAHTA. 317 

forth be allowed to give his land to a religious house, so as 
to resume possession of it to be held of that sum, nor 
shall any religious house be allowed so to reeeive land an to 
give it back in tenure to him from whom they received 
possession of it; but if any one henceforth thus gives his 
land to a religious house and is convicted of so doing, hid gift 
shall be altogether annulled, and the land shall fall int the 
possession of the lord of that fee. Seutage shall henceforth 
be taken as it used to be taken in the time of our grandfather 
king Henry. And all these aforesaid customs and liberties, 
which we, as far as pertains to us, have granted to be held 
in our kingdom, towards all our subjects in our kingdom, 
shall be observed both by our clergy and laity, as much as 
pertains to them, towards their dependants, saving to the 
archbishops, bishops, abbats, priors, templars, hospitallers, 
earls, barons, knights and all others, ecclesiastics as well ns 
seculars, the liberties and free customs which they formerly 
had. Witness these, &c." The liberties and free customs of 
the forest, which could not be contained in the same sheet as 
the above-written liberties because it was not large enough, 
are contained in this underwritten charter as follows: 

The liberties of the forest. 

" Jo/in, by the grace of God, king of England, $c. Be it 
known that we, looking to God, and for the safety of our 
soul, as well as those of our ancestors and successors, have 
for the exaltation of the holy church, and for the improvement 
of our kingdom, of our own free will, on behalf of ourselves 
and our heirs, granted these under-mentioned liberties to be 
had and held for ever in our kingdom of England. In the 
first place all the forests, which king Henry our grandfather 
made, shall be inspected by approved and legal men ; and if 
any one has made forest of any other wood than that belong- 
ing to his own domain to the injury of the owner of the same, 
it shall be immediately disforested; and, if he has forested 
his own wood, it shall remain a forest, saving the common of 
herbage, and other things in the same forest, to those who 
used to hold it. All men living without the bounds of :i 
forest shall hereafter not come before our justiciaries of the 
forest by ordinary summons, unless they be impleaded or be 
securities for some person or persons who are attached on 

318 ROGEH OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1215. 

account of the forest. All woods, which were forested by 
our brother king Richard, shall be immediately disforested, 
unless they are woods of our demesne. Archbishops, bishops, 
abbats, priors, earls, barons, knights, and free tenants, who 
have wood in the forest, shall hold possession of their wood 
as they did at the time of the coronation of our aforesaid 
grandfather king Henry, so that they shall be for ever free 
from all annoyances, waste, and clearages made in those 
woods from that time till the commencement of the second 
year of our coronation ; and whoever henceforth commit 
waste, nuisance, or make clearance, in those woods without 
our permission, shall be answerable for such waste, annoy- 
ance, or clearance. Our inspectors shall go through the 
forests to take account, as was the custom at the time of the 
coronation of our said grandfather king Henry, and no other- 
wise. Inquisitions or views concerning the footing of dogs 
in a forest shall be taken henceforth when survey ought to 
be taken, that is to say, every third year ; and then it shall 
be taken according to the view and testimony of legal men, 
and no otherwise ; and if any person's dog is then found not 
footed, he shall pay three shillings for alms. Henceforth no 
oxen shall be taken for footing ; but such footing shall com- 
monly be by assize, that three claws shall be taken from his 
hind foot without the ball. Dogs henceforth shall not be 
footed, unless at the place where they used to be footed at 
the time of the coronation of our said grandfather king 
Henry. No forester or bedel shall henceforth make a 
tallage, or shall collect sheaves of oats or other kinds of corn, 
or sheep or pigs, or make any collection, and when the 
inspection is made, so many foresters shall be appointed to 
guard the forests as, in the view and on the oath of twelve 
inspectors, shall seem sufficient in reason for the purpose. 
No swainmote shall be hereafter held in our kingdom except 
three times a year, namely, fifteen days before Michaelmas, 
when our officers go round to levy tax for maintaining the 
fences of our woods ; and at Martinmas, when the same 
officers collect our pannage;* and at those two swainmotes 
the foresters, verdurers, and collectors, | shall assemble, and 
no one else, by writ of distringas. And the third swainmote 

Money paid for hedfje- waste which cattle fed on. 
( Of taxes for repairing the bounds of a piece of ground. 

A.D. 1215.] MAGXA CIIAKTA. 319 

shall be held fifteen days before St. John the Baptist's day, 
for the foddering of our cattle, and at that nwuinmote the 
foresters, verdurers, and eollectors shall assemble-, and no 
others, by writ of distringas. And moreover every forty days 
throughout the year the verdurers and foresters shall assemble 
to inspect the attachments of the forest, as well with regard to 
the turf as the venison on the presentation of those foresters, 
and they shall be attached in their presence. But these said 
swainmotes shall only be held in the counties where they 
used to be held. Every free man shall collect the tax to 
repair the bounds of his own wood in the forest at will, and 
shall receive his own pannage. We also grant permission to 
every free man to bring his pigs through the wood of our 
domain, free and without hindrance, and to enclose them in 
his own woods or elsewhere at his pleasure, and if any free- 
man's pigs wander in our forest for one night, it shall not be 
made a pretext for him to be deprived of any of his property. 
No one shall be deprived of life or limb for hunting in our 
forest ; but if any one shall be taken and convicted of steal- 
ing venison, he shall pay a heavy ransom, if he has the means 
to do so, and if he has not the means he shall be imprisoned 
for a year and a day. And if, at the expiration of a year 
and a day, he can find sureties he shall be released from 
prison ; but if not, he shall abjure our kingdom of England. 
If any archbishop, bishop, earl, or baron, in coming to us by 
our orders, passes through our forest, he may take one or two 
beasts in sight of the forester, if the latter be present, and if 
not, let him sound a horn that he may not appear to be taking 
them by stealth ; he may also act in the same way on his 
return. Every free man may henceforth, without hindrance, 
in his own wood or on the land which he holds in the forest, 
build a mill, make a warren, lake, marl-pit, or ditch, or may 
lay out arable ground beyond what is enclosed in arable land, 
so that it may not be to the injury of any neighbour of his. 
Every free man may in his own woods have aviaries of 
sparrow-hawks, falcons, eagles, and herons, and in the same 
way may have the honey found in his own woods. No 
forester, who is not a forester paying fee-farm to us for his 
bailiwick, shall henceforth take any road-tax in his bailiwick ; 
but a forester who pays fee-farm to us for his bailiwick shall 
take road-tax ; namely, for every cart two-pence during a 


half-year, and two-pence for the other half-year ; and for a 
baggage horse one farthing for half a year, and a farthing for 
the other half-year ; and only from thae who come from out 
of his bailiwick to trade by his leave in his bailiwickj to buy 
wood, timber, bark, or coal, and to take them elsewhere 
to sell, wherever they please ; and from no other cart or 
beast of burden shall any road-tax be taken, and the said 
road-tax shall only be taken in the places where it used to 
be taken formerly. But those who carry on their shoulders 
their wood, bark, or coal for sale, shall not, although they 
live by this means, pay any road-tax. No road-tax for the 
woods of other people shall be paid to our foresters, but only 
from the woods of our domain. All who have been outlawed 
concerning forest matters, from the time of our grandfather 
king Henry till our coronation, may return peaceably without 
hindrance, and shall find good securities that they will not 
again make forfeiture to us with respect to our forest. No 
chastellain or other person shall hold pleas of the forest, 
either with regard to the turf or the venison, but any fee- 
forester may attach pleas of the forest, as well concerning the 
turf as the venison, and shall present them to the verdurers 
of the counties ; and, when they are enrolled and under the 
seals of the verdurers, they shall be presented to the chief 
forester, when he comes to that part of the country to hold 
pleas of the forest, and shall be determined in his presence. 
And it is our will that all the aforesaid customs and liberties 
which we have granted to be had and observed in the king- 
dom towards our men, on our part, shall be observed by all the 
people of the kingdom, clergy as well as laity, on their part 
towards their men." 

Of the ticeniy-fire banns, who were appointed by the king to revise the 
aforesaid laics. 

" Since we, out of love to God, and for the amendment of 
our kingdom, and the better to set at rest the disagree- 
ment which has arisen between us and our barons, have 
granted all these things, wishing to preserve them entire and 
on a firm footing, we give and grant the underwritten secu- 
rity to them, namely: That the barons shall choose twenty- 
five barons of the kingdom, whomsoever they please, who shall 
with all their power observe, keep, and cause to be observed, 

A.D. 1215.] MAOXA CnAHTA. 321 

peace and the liberties which we have granted, and by this 
our present charter have confirmed to them, so that, it' we 
personally or by our justiciary, or bailiff, wrong any one in 
any way, or break through any one of the articles of thi* 
peace or security, and the injury shall be proved to four out 
of the twenty-five barons, those four barons shall come to us, 
or, if we are out of the kingdom, to our justiciary, and, ox- 
plaining Avhat is wrong to us, shall require us to give satis- 
faction without delay. And if we, or, if we are out of the 
kingdom, our justiciary, do not give satisfaction within forty 
days, reckoning from the time when it was pointed out to us, 
the said four barons shall refer the matter to the rest of the 
twenty-five ; and those barons with the whole community of 
the country shall annoy and harass us, by all the means in 
their power, such as taking our castles, lands, and posses- 
sions, and any other means, till we give them satisfaction 
according to their decision, saving always our person, and the 
persons of our queen, and our children ; and when we have 
given satisfaction, they shall obey us as they did before. 
And let every one in the kingdom who chooses to do so, 
swear that, to obtain all the aforesaid terms, he will obey the 
commands of the aforesaid twenty-five barons, and will 
harass us in conjunction with them, to the utmost of his 
power ; and we give open and free permission to swear this 
to any one who chooses to do so, and we will never forbid 
any one to swear this. But all those in our kingdom who 
choose to swear to unite with the barons in annoying and 
harassing us, we will cause to swear to obey our commands 
as above-mentioned. But in all cases which are entrusted 
to the management of those twenty-five barons, if by chance 
they disagree amongst themselves on any point, or any of 
them when summoned refuse or are unable to be present, 
whatever the majority of them shall determine and order 
shall be ratified and confirmed, as though the twenty-five had 
all agreed to it. And the twenty-five barons shall swear 
that they will faithfully observe the aforesaid terms, and to 
the best of their ability cause them to be observed ; and we 
will do nothing personally or by another, by which any of 
the said grants and liberties shall be revoked or deteriorated ; 
and if any such grant shall have been made, it shall be null 
and void, and we will never make use of it ourselves or by 


322 ROGEK OF WEXDOVER. [A.I). 12 15. 

any other person. And all the bad disposition, indignation, 
and rancour which has arisen between us and our subjects, 
clergy as well laity, from the commencement of our dis- 
agreement, we entirely dismiss and pardon in respect of all. 
And the better to harass us, the four castellans of North- 
ampton, Kenilworth, Nottingham, and Scarborough, shall 
swear to the twenty-five barons that they will do with the 
said castles whatever they or the majority of them may 
enjoin and command them to do; and there shall always be 
appointed to those castles, castellans who are faithful and 
will not break their oath. And we will send away from 
our kingdom all foreigners, all the relatives of Gerard 
d'Athie, namely, Kngelard, Andrew, Peter, and Guy de 
Chanceles, Guy de Ciguigny, the wife of the aforesaid 
Gerard with all their children, Geoffrey de Martenn and his 
brother?, Philip Mark and his brothers, and G. his nephew, 
Fdlco, and all the Flemings and robbers who do injury in our 
kingdom. Moreover all offences which have been committed 
on account of* this disagreement from the last Easter, which 
was in the sixteenth year of our reign, till this renewal of 
peace, are by us freely forgiven to all, clergy and laity, and 
as far as concerns us are fully pardoned. And moreover we, 
have caused testimonials and letters patent to be granted 
them from our lords. Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, 
Henry bishop of Durham, and Pandulph subdeacon and 
familiar of our lord the pope, and also from the aforesaid 
bishops, as a security for this and for the aforesaid grants. 
Wherefore we will and strictly order, that the English 
church be free, and that all subjects of our kingdom shall 
have and hold all the aforesaid liberties, laws, and cus- 
toms, well and peaceably, freely and quietly, fully and 
entirely, to themselves and their heirs from us and our 
heirs, in all matters and places for ever, as aforesaid. An 
oath also has been made in presence of the above-named 
witnesses, as well on behalf of us as of the barons, that we 
will observe all the aforesaid articles in good faith, and 
without fraudulent reservation. Given under our hand in 
the field called Runnymedc, between Staines and Wind- 
sor, on the fifteenth day of June, in the seTcnteenth year of 
our reign.* 

* M. Paris here inserts : " In the same year too, John, in order the 


How the kiny of Knyland by letters patent ordered the nfuresaid lilcrlicn 
to be observed. 

After this king John sent his letters patent throughout all 
the English territories, strietly ordering all the sheriffs of the 
whole kingdom to make the inhabitants in their jurisdictions 
of every rank, swear to observe the above-written laws and 
liberties, and also, as i'ar as lay in their power, to annoy and 
harass him, the king, by taking his eastles till he fulfilled 'all 
the above-mentioned terms, as contained in the charter. 
After which, many nobles of the kingdom came to the king 
asking him for their rights of land and possessions, and the 
custody of the castles, which, as they said, belonged to them 
by hereditary right ; but the king delayed this matter till it 
was proved on the oath of liege men, what of right was due 
to each ; and, the more fully to effect this, he fixed the Hit'* 
of August as a day for them all to come to Westminster. 
Nevertheless he restored to Stephen archbishop of Canter- 
bury the castle of Kochester and the Tower of London, 

more to pain the good-will of the prelates and nobles, granted free elections 
in all tlie churches of England ; and the king himself, as well as the nobles 
and) prelates, procured a confirmation of this charter and grant from the 
pope, and, for better security, the king's charter was inserted, scaled in the 
pope's warrant of confirmation. The twenty-five barons chosen were as 
follow : The earls of Clare, Albcmarle, Gloucester, Winchester, and Here- 
ford ; earls Robert, Roger, Marshall the younger, Robert Fitz- Walter the 
elder, Gilbert de Clare, Eustace de Vescy, Hugh Bigod, William Mersbrav 
mayor of London, Gilbert de Laval, Robert de Roos constable of Chester, 
Richard Percy, John Fitx-Robert, William Mulct, Geoffrey de Say, Roger 
de Mowbray, William of HuntingfieJd, Richard de Montfichet, and William 
de Albeney. These twenty-five barons, at the king's request, 'swore on their 
souls that they would observe these customs in every point, and would 
compel the king to observe them by force, if he should by chance wish to 
withdraw his consent. The following nobles swore on their souls to obey 
the commands of the twenty-five barons ; the earl of Clare, the earl of 
Arundel, earl Warrenne, Henry Doyly, Hubert de Bourg, Matthew Fit/- 
Herbert, Robert Pinkney, Roger Huscarl, Robert de Newburg, Henry de 
Pont Omar, Ralph de la Haye, Henry de Brentlield, Warren Fitz- Gerald, 
Thomas B;usset, William de Rokeland, William St. John, Alan Basket, 
Richard de Bankes, Hugh de Beneval, Jordan de Sackville, Ra. Musgard, 
Ri Aflenvast, Robert de Ropele, Andrew de Beauchamp, Walter of 1 'un- 
stable, Walter Folioth, Faulkes, John Marshal, Philip de Albeney, William 
Pare, Ralph de Normanville, William de 1'arcy, William Agorlun, Kngi- 
rus de 1'ratest, William de Cirent, Roger de Zucha, Roger Fit/- Bernard, 
and Godfrey de Cracombc, who all swore that they would obey thejcoui 
mands of the twenty-five barons." 


324 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1215. 

which by old right belonged to his custody : and then break- 
ing up the conference, the barons returned with the above- 
named charter to London.* 

M. Paris here adds: " King John, wishing that these things should lie 
on a more secure footing, sent to jiope Innocent, asking him to grant the 
favour of confirming this by his bull ; and as he had become an obedient 
vassal of the pope, and an apostolic king, he soon obtained what he wanted 
in the following form :' Innocent, bishop, &c., to all his venerable 
brothers and all his beloved sons, the prelates of the churches throughout 
England, health and the apostolic blessing. We worthily laud the mag- 
nificence of the Creator, who is terrible and wonderful in his counsels on 
the sons of men, for that, when he has once taught us our weakness by 
causing the storm to blow, he has again slid to the winds, Peace, be still, 
and has suffered the sailors to enter the desired port. Whereas a great 
controversy has long existed between the sovereign and the priesthood of 
England, not without much danger and loss, concerning the elections of 
prelates, however by the wonderful working of Him to whom nothing is im- 
possible, and who breathes where he wishes, our well beloved John, the 
illustrious king of the Knglish, ha*, of his own free will, and by the com- 
mon consent of his barons, for the salvation of the souls of himself, his pre- 
decessors, and his successors, liberally granted to us and confirmed by his 
letters, that henceforth in all and singular the churches and monasteries, 
both cathedral and conventual, of all England, the elections of all prelates 
whatsoever, whether the superior or inferior, shall be for ever free. We 
therefore, in ratification thereof, by the apostolic authority and by these 
present letters, ratify and confirm this grant to you, and, by your means, to 
the churches and your successors, as we have seen it contained in the said 
letters of the king ; and, for better security and in lasting memory of this 
grant, we have caused the aforesaid letters of the king on this matter to be 
united to these presents; the tenor of these letters is as follows: "John, 
by the grace of God, king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of Normandy 
and Aquitaine, and count of Anjou, to the archbishops, bishops, earls, 
barons, knighte, bailiff's, and all to whom these letters shall come, greeting. 
Whereas, under God's favour, a full arrangement has been, by the volun- 
tary consent of both parties, come to between us and our venerable fathers 
Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England and cardinal of 
the holy Roman church, William bishop of London, Eustace of El>, 
Giles of Hereford, John of Bath and Glastonbury, and Hubert of Lincoln, 
concerning their losses and property which wns confiscated at the time of 
the interdict, we wish not only to give satisfaction to them as far as lies in 
our power with God's assistance, but also wholesomely and advantageously 
to provide for the whole church of England for ever. Therefore, whatever 
custom may have been hitherto observed in the English church in the times 
of ourself and our ancestors, and whatever ri^ht we may have hitherto 
claimed for ourselves, henceforth in each and all of the churches and 
monasteries of England, conventual and cathedral, the elections of prelates 
shall be free for ever, of whatever order they may be, superior as well a* 
inferior; saving to us and our heirs the custody of the v.-ieant churches and 
monasteries, which belonj.8 to us. We also promise that we will not hinder, 


How kin/j Ju/in retired clandestinely to the Isle of \Yiyht and laid jjluni 
ayuinst the barvm. 

After the barons, as has been stated, had gone from tin; 
conference, the king was left with scarcely seven knights out 
of his proper body of attendants. Whilst lying sleepless that 
night in Windsor castle, his thoughts alarmed him much, and 
before daylight he lied by stealth to the Isle of Wight, and 
there in great agony of mind devised plans to be revenged 
on the barons. At length, after divers meditations, he 
determined, with the assistance of the apostle Peter, to seek 

nor permit, or cause our agents to hinder the electors in each and all of the 
churches and monasteries when the prelacies are vacant from appointing any 
pastor they may choose for themselves, but permission to do so must be 
previously asked of us and our heirs, which we will not refuse or put off. 
And if it should happen that we should refuse or delay to give permission, 
the electors shall proceed to make a canonical election. And likewise after 
the election has been made, our consent to it shall be asked, which we will 
not refuse, unless we set forth and legitimately prove a reason why we 
ought r.rt to consent to it. Wherefore it is our will and strict order that no 
one, in vacant churches or monasteries, shall dare in any way to contravene 
this our grant 'and decree ; and if any one shall at any time contravene it 
he will incur the malediction of the omnipotent God and of us. As witness 
these, Peter bishop of Winchester, W. Marshal earl of Pembroke, 
earl Warrenne, 11. earl of Chester, S. earl of Winchester, G. de Mande- 
ville earl of Gloucester and Essex, W. earl Ferrers, G. Briwere, W. Fitz- 
gerald, W. de Cantwulf, 11. de Neville, Robert de Iver, and W. Hunting- 
field. Given under the hand of master Robert Marsh our chancellor, at 
the New Temple at London, this fifteenth day of January, in the sixteenth 
year of our reign.' 1 Let no man therefore presume to infringe or rashly to 
oppose this our letter of confirmation. But if any one presumes to attempt 
such a thing, let him be assured that lie will incur the anger of the om- 
nipotent God, and his blessed apostles Peter and Paul. Given at the 
Lateran, this thirtieth day of March, in the eighteenth year of our 

'' When this was completed and approved of by both parties, they all 
exulted in the belief that God had compassionately touched the king's 
heart, had taken away his heart of stone and given him one of flesh, and 
that a change for the best was made in him by the hand of the Almighty ; 
and all and every one hoped that England, being by the grace of God 
freed in their time from, as it were, the Egyptian bondage, by which it had 
been fur a long time previously oppressed, would enjoy peace and liberty, 
not only by the protection of the Roman church, under whose wings they 
thought they were sheltered, and thus as it were under the divine shield, to 
serve which is to reign, but also on account of the wished-for humiliation ol 
the king, who they hoped was happily inclined to all gentleness and 
peace. But tar otherwise was it oh shame! oh sorrow! and tar differ- 
ently from what was expected, did event* happen, l-'ortune was beheveU 

326 ROGER OF WEXDOVES. [.\.D. 121J. 

revenge on his enemies with two swords, the spiritual and 
temporal, so that if he could not succeed with the one, he 
might for certain accomplish his purpose with the other. 
To strike at them with the spiritual sword, he sent Pandulph 
the pope's subdeacon with other messengers, to the court of 
Rome, to counteract, by the apostolic authority, the inten- 
tions of the barons. He also sent W alter bishop of Winches- 
ter and chancellor of England, John bishop of Norwich. 
Richard de Marisco, William Gernon, and Hugh de Boves, 
with his own seal, to all the transmarine territories to pro- 

smilingly to have offered them nectar, when it prepared draughts of gall 
and poison: for lo, on the instigation of the devil, who by old custom is 
jealous of the prosperity of mankind, the sona of Belial, like wicked free- 
booters, who love war rather "han peace, wliisperingly instilled their words 
of discord in the ears of the king: for they said gruntingly and with much 
laughter and derision, ' Behold this is the twenty-fifth king in England ; 
lo ! he is not now a king, nor even a petty king, but a disgrace to kings ; 
he had better be no king at- all than be one of this kind. Behold a king 
without a kingdom, a lord without a domain ; a worthless man and a king 
contemptible to his people. Alas ! wretched man, and slave of the lowest 
degree, to what a wretched state of slavery have you fallen ? You have been 
a king, now you nre the scum of the people ; you have been the greatest, 
now are you the least. Nothing is more unfortunate than to have been 
fortunate.' And thus arousing his ungcr they fanned the fire into a general 

The alienation of the king's heart. 

" The too credulous king then, at the wlnsperings of these abominable 
bandits, whom, according to custom and to his own injury, he had too 
freely entertained, giving up his own natural subjects, changed his mind 
and inclined his heart to the very worst devices ; for it is easy to turn a 
wavering man, and one pr.jne to evil it is easy to hurry headlong into 
wickedness. The king then deeply sighing, conceived the greatest indig- 
nation, and began to pine away himself, giving vent to lamentations and 
complaints. 'Why,' said he, 'did my mother bring me forth, unhappy 
and shameless woman that she was? Why was I nursed on her knees, or 
suckled at her breast ? Would that I had been slain rather than suffered 
to grow to manhood.' He then commenced gnashing his teeth, scowling 
with his eyes, and seizing sticks and limbs of trees, began to gnaw them, 
and after gnawing them to break them, and with increased extraordinary 
gestures to show the grief or rather the ra, r c he felt. And on that very night 
he at once secretly prepared letters and st-nt to Philip Marc constable of 
the castle of Nottingham, a native of 1'oictou, and to all his foreign-born 
subjects, in whom his soul most confided, ordering them to supply their 
castles with provisions, surround them with trenches, garrison them, and to 
prepare cross-bows and engines, and to make arrows ; telling them, how- 
ever, to do this cautiously and without open blustering, lest the barons 
should happen to find it out and prevent the anger of the king from 

A.D. 1215.] WANDF.niNGS OF KING JOHN. 327 

cure supplies of troops in those parts, promising them land", 
ample possessions, and no small sum of money ; and the more 
to secure the fidelity of the people there, he ordered them 
if necessary to give warrants of security for their pay to all 
the soldiers who would join them; and he arranged that, at 
Michaelmas, they should come to him at Dover with all 
whom they could allure to them. He moreover sent letters 
to all the governors of his castles throughout England, 
ordering them each and all to furnish their castles with all 
kinds of provisions and arms, and to strengthen their garri- 
sons with soldiers so as to be able to defend them at a 
day's notice. He himself in the meantime, with a few 
followers whom he had begged from the retinue of the bishop 
of Norwich, took on himself the business of a pirate, and 
employed himself in gaining the good-will of the sailors of 
the cinque-ports ; and thus, hiding as it were in the open air 
in the island and near the sea-coasts, withou; any regal 
show, he for three months led a solitary life on the water and 
in the company of sailors, for he preferred to die rather than 
to live long nnrevenged for the insults of the barons. All 
this time different reports were circulated by different 
people concerning him ; and by some he was said to have 
turned fisherman, by others a trader and a pirate, and by 

proceeding further. Rut as there is nothing done in secret which is not 
discovered, these dangerous preparations and designs were soon made known 
to the nobles by passers-by ; on which some of the more prudent of them 
went to the king to find out if what had been told them was tnie.and if so, 
to endeavour by wholesome representations and advice to dispel his anger, 
and to recall him from his unjust purpose before it was commenced. The 
king however, in the presence of his nobles, concealed his inward bitterness 
under a calm countenance, and boldly swore by the feet of God that he de- 
signed nothing underhanded ; and thus by false assertions he deceitfully 
lulled the report which had arisen. Nevertheless, as it is difficult for a 
furious man to restrain himself, these nobles discovered by many indica- 
tions, before the interview was broken off, that the affection of the king was 
estranged from them, and that his look was dejected, and they pondered 
the event in their minds, using these words: 'Woe to us, yea to all Kng- 
land, since it has not a. true king, but is oppressed by a tyrant who endea- 
vours to make his people miserable. He has already placed us in subjection 
to Rome and the Roman court, thnt we might obtain protection from it ; 
it is to be feared that we shall find the assistance from that place injurious 
to our posterity. We never heard of any king who was unwilling to with- 
draw his neck from slavery ; but this one willingly succumbs to it.' And 
with these sorrowful reflections they left the king and departed." 

328 KOUEK OK WENDOVER. [A.D. 1215. 

some he was said to have become an apostate ; and after lie 
had been, on account of his protracted absence, sought for by 
several without success, they believed that he was drowned, 
or had perished in some other way. The king however bore 
all these reports with equanimity, awaiting the expected 
arrival of his messengers, .some of whom he had sent to the 
court of Rome, and others to raise troops to assist him. 

How the barons of England prepared for tournaments. 

The barons meanwhile, who were staying in the city of 
London as if the whole matter was at an end, agreed amongst 
themselves to assemble at Stamford, there to enjoy the sports 
of the tournament ; they therefore sent letters to the noble 
William d'Albiney to the following effect: " Robert Fit/- 
Walter, marshal of the army of God and the holy church, 
and the other nobles of the same army to the noble William 
d'Albiney, greeting. You well know of how great im- 
portance it is to you and to us all, to keep possession of the 
city of London, which is a place of refuge for us, and what a 
disgrace it would be if, through any fault of ours, we were 
to lose it. Be-dt known to you as a fact, that we have been 
forewarned that there are some, who are only waiting for our 
departure from the aforesaid city, to take possession of it on 
a sudden; therefore, by the general advice of all, we have put 
off the tournament, which was commenced at Stamford on 
the Monday next after the feast of the apostles Peter and 
Paul, to the Monday next after the octaves aforesaid. But 
there will be a tournament near London, in Staines Wood, 
and at the town of Hounslow; and this we have done for 
our safety and for the safety of the aforesaid city. And 
we therefore enjoin, and earnestly beseech you to come to 
the tournament aforesaid well provided with horses and 
arms, that you may there obtain honour. Whoever performs 
well there will receive a bear, which a lady will send to the 
tournament. Farewell." 

In the same year pope Innocent convoked a general 
council of the prelates of the church universal, namely, 
patriarchs, archbishops, bishops, primates, archdeacons, dea- 
cons of cathedral churches, abbats, priors, templars, and hos- 
pitallers, who were all ordered, as they wished to avoid the 


punisluncnl of tlie church, to appear in the presence of our 
lord the pope at the city of Koine on the 1st of November. 

Of the statements made Ly the messengers of the kiny of Enylaitd to 
the pope. 

At the same time the king of England's messengers ap- 
peared belbre our lord the pope at Koine, setting forth the 
rebellion and injuries which the barons of England had 
perpetrated against the said king, in extorting from him 
certain unjust laws and liberties, which it did not become 
his royal dignity to confirm ; and when, after much discord 
between them, the said king and barons had met several 
times to treat about peace, the king openly declared before 
them all that the kingdom of England by right of dominion 
belonged to the church of Koine, and therefore he could not 
and ought not, without the knowledge of our lord the pope, 
make any new arrangements, or alter any thing in the king- 
dom to the detriment of that pontiff. On which, although 
he had made an appeal, and had placed himself and all the 
rights of his kingdom under the protection of the apostolic 
see, the, said barons, paying no regard to his appeal, had 
taken possession of the city of London, the capital of his 
kingdom, which had been treacherously given up to them, 
and even now retained possession of it ; and after this they 
llewto arms, mounted their horses, and demanded from the king 
that the aforesaid laws and liberties should be confirmed to 
them, and the king, through fear of an attack from them, did 
not dare to refuse what they required. The said messen- 
gers then gave the pope a written paper containing some of 
the articles of the said charter which seemed most to help 
the cause of the king. The pope, after reading them care- 
fully, exclaimed in astonishment, " Are the barons of Eng- 
land endeavouring to drive from the throne of his kingdom 
a king who has taken the cross, and who is under the. pro- 
tection of the apostolic see, and to transfer to another the 
dominion of the Koman church? By St. Peter we cannot 
pass over this insult without punishing it!" Then, after 
taking counsel with his cardinals, he, by a definitive sen- 
tence condemned and for ever annulled the said charier of 
grants of the liberties of the kingdom of England ; and iu 

330 ROGF.K OF \VF.xnovF.n. [A.D. 1215. 

testimony of this, he transmitted to the English kini; the 
following immunity: 

How, by the immunity from the apostolic see, the liberties (/ranted l> fie 
Englith Ixirons tcere annulled. 

" Innocent, bishop, servant of tlie servants of God. to nil 
the faithful ones of Christ, who shall see this paper, health 
and the apostolic blessing. Although our well-beloved son 
in Christ. John the illustrious king of the English, has 
greatly offended God and the holy church, for which we 
fettered him with the bonds of excommunication, and placed 
bis kingdom under an interdict, nevertheless the said king, 
by the merciful inspiration of Him who desires not the 
death of a sinner but that he should be converted and live, 
at length, after reflection, atoned in all humility to God and 
the church, inasmuch as lie not only gave recompcnce for 
losses, and made restitution of confiscated property, but 
also granted full liberty to the English church ; moreover on 
the withdrawal of both decrees, he yielded his kingdom ot 
England as well as that of Ireland to St. Peter and the 
church, of Rome, receiving them from ns in fee on condition 
of the annual payment to us of a thousand marks, and making 
an oath of fealty to us, as appears by his privilege sealed 
with the golden bull. And desiring still more to give satis- 
faction to the Almighty, he assumed the sign, of the living 
cross, in order to go to the assistance of the Holy Land, for 
which he was preparing himself with much expense. But 
the enemy of the human race, whose custom it is to be 
envious of good action*, by his crafty arts excited the barons 
of England against him, so that, the order of things being 
perverted, he was, after being converted and making atone- 
ment to the church, attacked by those who stood by him in 
his offence against the church. When at length a cause of 
difference arose between them, and after several days had been 
appointed to treat about peace, special messengers were sent to 
us ; and after a careful discussion of the matter with them, we, 
after full deliberation, wrote by the same messengers to 
Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, and the bishops of 
England, ordering them to give diligent attention and 
efficacious assistance to restore true peace and concord 
between the parties, to proclaim all confederacies and con- 

A.D. 1215.] THIi POPE'S LETTER. 331 

spiracie.s, if any had been formed since the commencement 
of the dispute between the king and priesthood, annulled 
by the apostolic authority, and to forbid, under penalty 
of excommunication, any one to show such presumption for 
the future ; at the same time prudently and effectually 
to warn and enjoin the nobles and men of rank in England, 
to endeavour by evident indications of devotion and humility 
to make their peace with the king, and then, if they intended 
to demand anything of him, to ask it of him not insolently, 
but with humility, observing towards him the respect due to 
a king, and rendering to him the usual service which they 
and their ancestors had rendered to him and his ancestors ; 
since the king ought not to be despoiled by them without 
judgment, and that they might thus more easily obtain what 
they were trying for. We also requested and advised the 
said king by our letters, and enjoined on the aforesaid arch- 
bishop and bishops to request and warn him, as a remission 
of his sins, to treat the aforesaid nobles with kindness, and to 
give favourable attention to their just petitions, so that they 
might both learn to their joy that he was altered for the 
better, and that by this means they and their heirs would 
more readily and more devotedly serve him and his heirs ; 
also to grant them full security to come, to stay, or to depart, 
that, if perchance peace could not be arranged between them, 
the differences which had arisen might be set at rest in his 
court by their deputies according to the laws and customs of 
the kingdom. But before the said messengers returned with 
this prudent and just advice, these barons, utterly disregard- 
ing their oath of fealty, (for even if the king had unjustly 
oppressed them, they ought not so to have acted against him, 
as to be at once judge and executioners in their own cause, 
vassals openly conspiring against their lord, knights against 
their king,) dared, in conjunction with others his declared 
enemies, to make war against him, taking possession of, and 
ravaging, his territories, and moreover took possession of the 
city of London, the capital of the kingdom, which had been 
given up to them through treachery. But in the meantime 
when the above messengers returned, the king offered, in 
accordance with our mandate, to show them due justice, but 
they rejected it and turned their hands to worse offences; on 
which the king himself, appealing to our attention, offered to 

332 HOGEIi OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1215. 

do them justice in presence of us, to whom the decision of 
this matter belonged by right of dominion, and this they 
altogether rejected. Then he proposed to them that tour 
skilful men should be chosen as well by him as them, who 
might, in conjunction with us, put an end to the disagree- 
ment which had arisen between them, promising that, above 
all things, lie would remove all the abuses which might have 
been introduced into England in his time ; but they did not 
condescend to try this. At length the king explained to 
them that, since the dominion of the kingdom belonged to 
the church of Rome, he could not and ought not, without our 
special mandate, to make any alteration in it to our prejudice; 
and he then again appealed to our hearing, placing himself 
and his kingdom with all its dignities and rights under the 
protection of the apostolic see. But as he did not gain any- 
thing by any of these means, he asked the archbishop and 
bishops to fulfil our mandate, to defend the right of the 
church of Rome, and to protect liim according to the terms 
of the privilege granted to those who assume the cross. 
Besides tlu's, when they would not agree to any of these 
terms, he, seeing himself destitute of all aid and counsel, 
dared not refuse whatever they presumed to demand ; there- 
fore he was compelled by force and through fear, which even 
the bravest of men is liable to, to enter into an agreement 
with them, which was not only vile and base, but also unlaw- 
ful and unjust, much to the disparagement and diminution 
alike of his rights and his honour. But as has been told us 
by the Lord through his prophet, 'I have appointed thee 
over people and kingdoms, to pluck up and destroy, to build 
and to plant,' and also by another prophet, ' Cast loose the 
bonds of wickedness, shake otf the oppressing burdens,' we 
do not choose to pass over such wicked audacity, tending to 
the contempt of the apostolic see, the detriment of kingly 
right, the disgrace of the English nation, and danger to the 
cause of the cross, which would assuredly happen to it, unless 
by our authority every thing was revoked which had been 
thus extorted from such a prince who had also assumed the 
cross, even though he were willing to keep them. We there- 
fore, on behalf of God the omnipotent Father, the Son, and 
the Holy Ghost, by the authority of his apostles Peter and 
Paul, and by our own, by the general advice of our brethren, 


reprobate and entirely condemn an agreement of this kind, 
and forbid the, said king, under penalty of excommunication, 
to keep, and the barons and their accomplices to compel him 
to keep either the charter, or the bonds or securities, which 
have been given for its observance, and we altogether annul 
and quash the same so that they may never have any validity. 
Let none therefore, &c. Whoever, c. Given at Agnano 
on the 24th of August in the eighteenth year of our ponti- 

The pope's rebuke to the barons of England for their persecution of 
the king. 

Having thus annulled the aforesaid liberties, the pope 
wrote to the, barons of England in the following terms : 
" Innocent, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to the 
nobles of England, the spirit of a wiser counsel. Would that. 
in the persecution which you have rashly practised against 
your lord the king, you had more carefully attended to your 
oath of fealty, the right of the apostolic see, and the privilege 
granted to those who have assumed the cross ; because, with- 
out doubt, you have not proceeded so to act, but that all who 
see it detest the offence, especially since in your cause you 
have made yourselves both judges and executioners, although 
the said king was prepared to grant you ample justice in his 
own court, and by the decision of your peers, according to 
the laws and customs of the kingdom, or in the presence of 
us to whom the decision of this cause belonged by right of 
dominion, or even in the presence of arbiters, to be chosen 
on both sides, who would proceed in the matter conjointly 
with us. Therefore, since you would not try any one of 
these plans, he appealed to our hearing, placing himself and 
the kingdom, with all its dignities and rights, under the pro- 
tection of the apostolic see ; and he openly declared that, 
since the sovereignty of the said kingdom belonged to the 
church of Rome, he. could not and ought not to make any 
alterations in it to our injury. Seeing then that the agree- 
ment of whatever sort it is, which you have by violence and 
threats induced him to make, is not only vile and base, but 
also unlawful and unjust, so that it ought to be justly repro- 
bated by all, chiefly on account of the means used to obtain 
it, we, who are bound to provide for the spiritual tis well aa 

334 ROGER OF WF.XDOVER. i~A.n. 1215. 

the temporal good of the king as well as the kingdom, by 
these our apostolic letters order, and in all good faith advise 
you, to make a virtue of necessity, and renounce of your own 
accord an agreement of this kind, and make reparation to 
the king and his followers for the harm and injuries you have 
inflicted upon him. that he, being appeased by your manifest 
indications of devotion and humility, may of his own accord 
make any concessions lie ought by rights to grant ; and to this 
we ourselves will also persuade him, since, as we do not wish 
him to be deprived of his rights, so we wish him to cease 
from harassing you, that the kingdom of England may not 
under our dominion be oppressed by evil customs and unjust 
exactions ; and whatever is decreed in such a way shall be 
confirmed and ratified for ever. May He, therefore, who 
wishes no man to perish, incline you to acquiesce with humi- 
lity in our wholesome advice and command.*, lest, if you act 
otherwise, you be reduced to such straits from which you 
will not be able to escape without much trouble; since, not 
to speak of other matters, we cannot conceal the great danger 
of the whole business of the cross, which would be in immi- 
nent danger, unless, by our apostolic authority, we altogether 
revoke all the promises which have been extorted from such 
a king, and one who has assumed the cross, even although he 
wished them to be kept. Wherefore, when the archbishop 
and bishops of England appear before us at the general 
council which we intend to hold to expedite the more urgent 
matters of the church, do you also send lit proctors to appear 
before us, and entrust yourselves without fear to our benevo- 
lence ; because we, under God's favour, will so ordain mat- 
ters that, by altogether doing away with the abuses in the 
kingdom of England, the king may be contented with his 
just rights and dignities, and the clergy as well as the people 
in general may enjoy the peace and liberty due to them. 
Given at Agnano, the 24th of August, in the eighteenth year 
of our pontificate." The English nobles, however, even after 
they had, by the king's management, received these letters, 
alike admonitory and threatening, would not desist from their 
purpose, but harassed Kim the more severely. 

William (TAttiney takes command of Rochester castle. 

In the meantime the noble William d'Albiney, after 


frequently receiving letters from the barons at London, and 
being blamed in no slight degree for delaying to come to 
them, at length at Michaelmas, furnished hi.s castle of 
Belvoir with a sm'Uciency and even a superabundance of all 
kinds of provisions and arms, and entrusted it to the care of 
men who were faithful to him ; he then went to London and 
was received there with great joy by the barons, who im- 
mediately communicated to him a plan they had determined 
on, namely, to block up the road against the king, so that no 
way of approach might be open to him in any direction to lav 
siege to the city of London ; they therefore picked out a 
strong body of troops, and appointing William d'Albiney to 
the command of them, as a man bold and tried in war, they 
sent them to occupy the town of Rochester. That castle had 
a short time before been confidentially entrusted by the king 
to the archbishop, who nevertheless, by what feelings in- 
stigated I know not, though the Lord does, delivered it up to 
the enemies of the king. The latter, on entering it, found 
the place destitute not only of arms and provisions, but also 
of every kind of property, except what they themselves had 
brought with them, on which they in their disappointment 
thought of abandoning it ; but William d'Albiney, exhorting 
and continually animating the minds of his companions to 
deeds of valour, said that it was not lawful for knights to 
desert, lest, what would be a great disgrace to them, they 
should by and by be called knights-deserters. And thus 
all of them being powerfully encouraged by his words to 
bravery, they brought into the castle only what provisions 
they could find in the town of Rochester; and as these 
knights were u hundred and forty in number with all their 
retinues, there was no time left them to collect booty in the 
country around, or to provide themselves with any supplies of 
any kind. 

How king John besieged the castle of Rochester. 

After William d'Albiney and his companions had, as ha-* 
been mentioned, taken possession of the aforesaid castle. kiiiLT 
John, after three months' stay in the isle of Wight, issm-d 
forth from that island and sailed to Dover; at the latter place 
his messengers, whom he had sent to the transmarine 
provinces, came to him bringing with them such an immense 
multitude of kniirhts and soldiers, that all who beheld them 

336 ROGER OF WKNDOVr.R. [A.D. 1215. 

were struck with fear and dismay. From the provinces of 
Poictou and Ga^cony, the noble, and warlike Savaric de 
Maulion, and the, tXvo brothers Geoffrey and Oliver de 
Buteville c.ime, attended by a large body of knights and 
soldiers, and promised faithful obedience to the king ; from 
the provinces of Louvain and Brabant came the brave knight 
Walter Buck, Gerard, and Godeschal de Soceinne, with three 
battalions of soldiers and cross-bow men, who thirsted for 
nothing more than human blood ; besides these there came to 
the king from the country of Flanders and other transmarine 
provinces, all those who coveted the property of others, and 
thus gave great hope of defence to the king who had before 
given up all hope. John, as soon as he heard that William 
d'Albiney and his followers had entered the city of Rochester, 
marched thither with all the before-mentioned multitude with 
all speed, and on the third day after they had entered the 
castle, he blocked up all their ways of egress and besieged 
them. As soon as he had arrayed his petrarias and other 
engines, he severely annoyed the besieged by incessant 
showers of stones and other weapons ; the besieged, however, 
bore their assaults without flinching and bravely defended 

The tirath of Hitrjh de Bovct. 

In the meantime Hugh de Boves, a brave knight but a 
proud and unjust man, came with a large army to the port of 
Calais in Flanders to assist the king of England, and at that 
place he embarked with all his forces and sailed for Dover : 
but a sudden storm arising before he reached his destined 
port, they were all shipwrecked, and swallowed up by the 
waves. The body of the said Hugh was cast ashore not far 
from the town of Yarmouth, with those of several other 
knights and followers, and at each of the ports on that part 
of the sea roast there was found such a multitude of bodies 
of men and women that the very air was tainted by their 
stench ; a great numl>er of bodies of children were also found, 
who being drowned in their cradles were thus washed ashore, 
and afforded a dreadful spectacle to the multitude. They 
were all however given up to be devoured by the beasts of 
the sea and the birds of the air, so that not one out of forty 
thousand men escaped alive. All these people had come to 
England with their wives and children, with the intention 


of expelling and totally exterminating all the natives, and of 
possessing the land themselves by perpetual right ; for the 
king had by his charter, as was said, given to their leader, 
the said Hugh de. Jioves, the counties of' Norfolk and Suffolk, 
but the grace of God altered their purpose for the better. 
But when the news of the loss of all these people was brought 
to the king's knowledge, he was dreadfully enraged and took 
no food that day, but remained until the evening as if he were 
possessed by madness.* 

The cafiturc of I lie castle of Rochester, and imprisonment of those 
taken there. 

About this time the barons of England, when they learned 
that William d'Albiney and his companions were besieged in 
the castle of Rochester, became greatly alarmed, because 
before William d'Albiney would enter the castle, they had 
sworn on the holy gospels that if he should happen to be 
besieged they would all march to raise the siege. In order 
therefore that they might seem to be doing something in ac- 
cordance with their oath and plighted faith, they immediately 
flew to arms, and took their march towards the town of 
Deptford, thinking to force the king to raise the siege in one 
assault ; but although only a mild south wind was blowing in 
their faces, which does not generally annoy any one, they re- 
treated as though they had met a number of armed men, and 
left the expedition unaccomplished; and although we ought 
not too easily yield to every breath, they turned their backs on 
the besieged William and his followers, and returned to their 
old haunt. When they returned to the city of London, they 
well fortified it, and amusing themselves with the dangerous 
game of dice, drinking the best of wines which they chose 
at their own option, and practising all other vices, they left 

* Being scarcely able to contain himself, be pined away in bitter fret- 
tings, lit the night on which Hugh de lioves was lost, there arose an 
unusual storm of wind, rain, thunder, and lightning, such as had never been 
seen before. It happened that a certain monk of St. A loan's named 
Robert de Weston, who was staying at Bingham, was going to Norwich to 
fulfil the duties of his calling, and at midnight, when he was about half- 
way on his journey that storm rose, and in the storm he saw a com tlcss 
army of men riding on very large black steeds, with torches of sulphur, 
and they remained near the monk, observing a sort of order iu their inure- 



their besieged companions at Rochester exposed to the dan- 
ger of death, and enduring all kinds of misery. When the 
king learned how pompously the barons had approached to 
raise the siege, and how basely and ignominiously they hud 
returned, he became bolder, and sent out foragers in all 
directions to collect provisions for the support of his army, 
and yet did not allow the besieged in the meantime any rest 
day or night ; for amidst the stones hurled from the petra- 
rias and slings, and the missiles of the cross-bow men and 
archers, frequent assaults were made by the knights and 
their followers, so that when some were in a measure 
fatigued, other fresh ones succeeded them in the assault ; 
and with these changes the besieged had no rest. The 
besieged too, despairing of any assistance from the barons, 
endeavoured to delay their own destruction, for they were 
in great dread of the cruelty of the king ; therefore, that 
they might not die unavenged, they made no small slaughter 
amongst the assailants. The siege was prolonged many days 
owing to the great bravery and boldness of the besieged, who 
hurled stone for stone, weapon for weapon, from the walls 
and ramparts on the enemy : at last, alter great numbers of 
the roval troops had been slain, the king, seeing that all his 
warlike engines took but little effect, at length employed 
miners, who soon threw down a great part of the walls. 
The provisions of the besieged too failed them, and they 
were obliged to eat horses and even their costly chargers. 
The soldiers of the king now rushed to the breaches in the 
walls, and by constant fierce assaults they forced the besieged 
to abandon the castle, although not without great loss on 
their own side. The besieged then entered the tower amidst 
the attacks of the king's soldiers, who had entered the castle 
through the breaches; but William d'Albiney with his sol- 
diers, after slaying many of them, compelled them to quit it. 
The king then applied his miners to the tower, and having 
after much difficulty broken through the walls, an opening 
was made for the assailants ; but while his army was thus 
employed, they were often compelled to retreat from the de- 
struction caused in their ranks by the besieged. At length, 
not a morsel of provisions remaining amongst them, William 
d'Albiney and the other nobles who were with him, thinking 
it would be a disgrace to them to die of hunger when they 


could not be conquered in battle, after holding counsel to- 
gether on St. Andrew's day, all the garrison almost unhurt 
left the castle, except one knight who was killed by an arrow, 
and presented themselves to the king. This siege had 
lasted almost three months, and the king, on account of the 
number of his troops slain, as well as the money he had 
spent on the siege, was greatly enraged, and in his anger 
ordered all the nobles to be hung on the gibbet ; but the 
noble Savaric de Mauleon standing up before the king, said 
to him, " My lord king, our war is not yet over, therefore 
you ought carefully to consider how the fortunes of war may 
turn ; for if you now order us to hang these men, the barons, 
our enemies, will perhaps by a like event take me or other 
nobles of your army, and, following your example, hang us; 
therefore do not let this happen, for in such a case no one 
will h'ght in your cause." The king then, although unwil- 
lingly, listened to his advice and that of other prudent men, 
and William d'Albiney, William of Lancaster, W. d'Einford, 
Thomas de Muletan, Osbert GyfFard, Osbert de Bobi, Odi- 
nell d'Albiney, and other nobles were by his orders sent to 
Corfe castle to be there placed under close custody ; Robert 
de Chaurn, and Richard Gifl'ard, with Thomas of Lincoln, he 
ordered to be imprisoned in the castle of Nottingham, and 
others of them in divers other places. All the soldiers, 
except the cross-bow men, he gave up to his own soldiers to 
be ransomed ; and some of the cross-bow men who had slaiu 
many of his knights and soldiers during the siege he ordered 
to be hung. By these misfortunes the cause of the boron* 
was much weakened.* 

Paris here adds : " One day during the siege of Rochester castle, the 
king and Savaric were riding round it to examine the weaker parts of it, 
when a cross-bow man in the service of William de Albeney saw them, and 
said to his master. ' Is it your will, my lord, that I should slay the king, our 
bloody enemy, with this arrow which I have ready?' To this William 
replied, ' No, no ; far be it from us, villain, to cause the death of the Lor.l's 
anointed.' The cross-bow man said, ' He would not spare you in a like 
case.' To which the knight replied, ' The Lord's will he done. The Lord 
disposes events; not he.' In this case he was like David, who spared Suul 
when he could have slain him. This circumstance WHS afterwards known 
to the king, who notwithstanding this, did not wish to spare William when 
his prisoner, but would have hung him had he been permitted." 


340 ROGER OK VTENDOVER. [A.D. l'21o. 

The excommunication of the barons of England in general. 
At this time pope Innocent, seeing the rebelliousness of 
the barons of -England in not desisting from their persecution 
of the king, excommunicated them, and entrusted the fulfil- 
ment of this sentence to the bishop of Winchester, the abbat 
of Reading, and to Pandulph subdeacon of the church of 
Rome, in the following letter: " Innocent, bishop, &c., to P. 
bishop of Winchester, the abbat of Heading, and Master 
Pandulph subdeacon of the church of Rome, health and the 
apostolic benediction. We are very much astonished and 
annoyed that, although our well-beloved son in Christ, John 
the illustrious king of England, gave satisfaction beyond 
what we expected to God and the church, and especially to our 
brother the archbishop of Canterbury and his bishops, some 
of these showing no due respect, if any, to the business ot 
the holy cross, the mandate of the apostolic see, and their 
oath of fealty, have not rendered assistance or shown good- 
will to the said king against the disturbers of the kingdom, 
which, by right of dominion belongs to the church of Rome, 
as if they were cognizant of, not to say associates in, this 
wicked conspiracy ; for he is not free from the taint of par- 
ticipation who fails to oppose transgressors. How do these 
aforesaid prelates defend the inheritance of the church of 
Rome ? how do they protect those bearing the cross ? yea, 
how do they oppose themselves to those who endeavour to 
ruin the service of Christ? These men are undoubtedly 
worse than Saracens, since they endeavour to expel from his 
kingdom him who it was rather to be hoped would afford 
assistance to the Holy Land. Therefore that the insolence 
of such men may not prevail, not only to the danger of the 
kingdom of England but also to the ruin of other kingdoms, 
and, above all, to the subversion of all the matters of Christ, 
we, on behalf of the omnipotent God the Father, and the 
Son, and the Holy Ghost, and by the authority of the apostles 
Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, lay the fetters of 
excommunication on all these disturbers of the king and 
kingdom of England, as well as on all accomplices and 
abettors of theirs, and place their possessions under the ec- 
clesiastical interdict ; and we most strictly order the arch- 
bishop aforesaid and his fellow bishops, by virtue of their 
obedience, solemnly to proclaim this our sentence throughout 


all England on every Sunday and feast-day amidst the 
ringing of bells and with candles burning, until the said 
barons .shall give satisfaction to the. king for his losses and 
for the injuries they have inflicted on him, and shall faith- 
fully return to their duty. We also on our own behalf 
enjoin all the vassals of the said king, in remission of their 
sins, to give advice and render assistance to the said king in 
opposing such transgressors. And if any bishop neglects 
to fulfil this our injunction, be it known to him that he will 
be suspended from his episcopal duties, and the obedience of 
those under him will be withdrawn, because it is right 
that those who neglect their obedience to their superior 
should not be obeyed themselves by their inferiors. There- 
fore that the fulfilment of our mandate may not be impeded 
through the irresolution of any one, we have entrusted the 
business of excommunicating the aforesaid barons to you, 
together with the other matters connected with this business ; 
and by these our apostolic letters immediately, postponing all 
appeal, to proceed as ye may think expedient. But if all do 
not," &c. 

The election of blaster Simon Lnnglon to the see of York. 

About that time the canons of the church of York having 
been for some time without a pastor, obtained the king's 
permission and assembled together to make election of one ; 
and although they had been much entreated by the king to 
receive Walter de Gray bishop of Worcester, as their pastor, 
they on account of his ignorance refused him, but proceeding 
with their election, chose master Simon Langton, brother 
of the archbishop of Canterbury, hoping by his learning to 
obtain the favour of the supreme pontiff. But when this 
election was made known to the king, he sent messengers to 
the court of Rome, and they, in the presence of our lord the 
pope, set forth objections to the election as follow : they 
asserted that the archbishop of Canterbury was the open 
enemy of the king of England, since he had given an incen- 
tive to the English barons to act against the said, king, and 
had given his consent to their so doing, and therefore, if 
the said Simon, who was the said archbishop's brother, were 
promoted to the archbishopric of York, the peace of the king 
and kingdom could not be of long duration. By sotting foriU 

342 nor.ER OF TVENDOVER. [A.D. 121o. 

these and other similar disadvantages, they induced the pope 
to agree with them, whereupon he wrote to the chapter of 
York as follows : 

" Innocent, bishop, &c. When master Simon Langton 
lately appeared before us with some other canons of York. 
we verbally forbade him to endeavour to obtain the arch- 
bishopric of York, because for certain reasons we could not 
permit it, and he, as far as words went, with all reverence, 
promised obedience to this command : therefore we are aston- 
ished and annoyed, if his ambition has so blinded him that, 
although he knew he could not, after our prohibition and his 
express promise, be lawfully elected, he should give his con- 
sent to such an election, which, even if no one else opposed 
it, we should consider null and void. But that this may not 
l)e the occasion of a new error in England, worse than the 
former, and that the church of York may not any longer be 
without a pastor, we, by the general advice of our brethren, 
by these our apostolic letters, order and strictly enjoin yon 
by virtue of your obedience, notwithstanding this election, 
as we do not choose and ought not to endure insolence and 
machinations of this sort, without any pretext or irresolution, 
to send some of your brotherhood with full powers in com- 
mon to our approaching council, and that they appear before 
us by the 1st of November, there with our advice to elect 
or demand a fitting person as a pastor for you, or else from 
that time we will ourselves provide a suitable prelate for you, 
and will seriously punish all gainsayers or opposers, if any 
there be, by canonical censure. And if the aforesaid Simon 
has given his consent to this election, we, as a punishment 
for his presumption, decree, that he be henceforth ineligible, 
without the dispensation of the apostolic see, for the election 
to the pontifical dignity, (liven on the thirteenth of Sep- 
tember, in the eighteenth year of our pontificate." 

Stephen archbishop of Canterbury susjtcndfd. 

Soon after this, Peter bishop of Winchester, and Master 
Pandulph, the familiar of our lord the pope, went in person 
to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and on behalf of the said 
pipe, ordered him to eharge his suffragan bishops of the 
Canterbury church to publish the sentence of the apostolif 
see which was issued at Rome against the barons of hinrland 

A.n. l ; 21o.] GENERAL COUNCIL AT ROME. 343 

in general, and also himself, as far as his duty bound him, to 
make it public throughout the whole of his diocese on each 
Sunday and feast-day. The archbishop had already em- 
barked on board ship to go to Rome to attend the council, 
and therefore asked a respite till he could have an interview 
with the pope ; firmly declaring, as to publishing the sen- 
tence, that a tacit sentence had indeed gone forth against the 
barons, but that he would not in any way make it public 
until he learned the pleasure of the supreme pontiff on the 
aforesaid matters by word of mouth. The aforesaid agents 
in this matter, when they found that the archbishop diso- 
beyed the commands of the pope, by virtue of the authority 
with which they were invested, suspended him from entering 
the church and performing divine service ; and he observing 
this in all humility went to Rome a suspended prelate. 
Then the bishop of Winchester, with his brother agent 
}'andulph, declared all the barons of England who had en- 
deavoured to drive the king from his kingdom to be excom- 
municated, and published the sentence pronounced against 
them every Sunday and feast-day ; but as none of them had 
been mentioned by name in the pope's warrant, they paid no 
attention to the said sentence, but considered it as invalid 
and of no effect. 

Of the general council held by pope Innocent at Rome. 

In the same year, namely, A.D. 1215, a sacred and general 
synod was held in the month of November, in the church of 
the Holy Saviour at Rome, called Constantian, at which our 
lord pope Innocent, in the eighteenth year of his pontificate, 
presided, and which was attended by four hundred and 
twelve bishops. Amongst the principal of these were the 
two patriarchs of Constantinople and Jerusalem. The patri- 
arch of Antioch could not come, being detained by serious 
illness, but he sent his vicar, the bishop of Antaradus ; the 
patriarch of Alexandria being under the dominion of the 
Saracens, did the best he could, sending a deacon his cousin 
in his place. There were seventy-seven primates and mi'tro- 
politans present, more than eight hundred abbats and priors ; 
and of the proxies of archbishops, bishops, abbats, priors, and 
chapters, who were absent, the number is not known. There 
was also present a grout multitude of ambassadors from the 

314 ROGER OF WEXDOVER. [A.D. 1215, 

emperor of Constantinople, the king of Sicily, who was 
elected emperor of Rome, the kings of France, England, 
Hungary, Jerusalem, Cyprus, Arragou, and other princes and 
nobles, and from cities and other places. When all of these 
were assembled in the place above-mentioned, and, according 
to the custom of general councils, each was placed according 
to his rank, the pope himself first delivered an exhortation, 
and then the sixty articles were recited in full council, which 
seemed agreeable to some and tedious to others. At length 
he commenced to preach concerning the business of the cross, 
and the subjection of the Holy Land, adding as follows : 
" Moreover, that nothing be omitted in the matter of the cross 
of Christ, it is our will and command, that patriarchs, arch- 
bishops, bishops, abbats, priors, and others, who have the 
charge of spiritual matters, carefully set forth the work of the 
cross to the people entrusted to their care ; and in the name 
of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, the one alone and 
eternal God, supplicate kings, dukes, princes, marquises, 
earls, barons, and other nobles, and also the communities of 
cities, towns, and villages, if they cannot go in person to the 
assistance of the Holy Land, to furnish a suitable number of 
soldiers, with all supplies necessary for three years, accord- 
ing to their means, in remission of their sins, as in the 
general letters is expressed ; and it is also our will that those 
who build ships for this purpose be partakers in this remission. 
But to those who refuse, if any be so ungrateful, let it be on 
our behalf declared, that they will for a certainty account to 
us for this at the awful judgment of a rigorous Judge; con- 
sidering, before they do refuse, with what chance of salva- 
tion they will be able to appear before the only God and the 
only-begotten Son of God, to whose hands the Father has 
entrusted all things, if they refuse to serve that crucified one, 
in this their proper service, by whose gift they hold life, by 
whose kindness they are supported, and by whose; blood they 
have been redeemed. And we, wishing to set an example 
10 others, give and grant thirty thousand pounds for this 
business, besides a fleet, which we will supply to those who 
assume th cross from this city and the neighbouring dis- 
tricts ; and we moreover assign for the, accomplishment of 
this, three thousand marks of silver, which remain to us out of 
the alms of some of the true faith. And as we desire to have 


the other prelates of the churches, and also the clergy in 
general, as partakers both in the merit and the reward, it is 
our decree, that all of them, both people and pastors, shall 
contribute, for the assistance of the Holy Land the twentieth 
portion of their ecclesiastical profits for three years, except 
those who have assumed the cross or are about to assume it 
and set out for the Holy Land in person ; and we and our 
brethren the cardinals of the holy church of Rome will pay 
a full tenth part of ours. It is also our order that all clerks 
or laymen, after assuming the cross, shall remain secure 
under our protection and that of St. Peter ; and also under 
the protection of the archbishops, bishops, and all the pre- 
lates of God's church, and that all their property shall be so 
arranged, as to remain untouched and undisturbed until 
certain information is obtained of their death or their return. 
And if any of those who go on this crusade are bound by 
oath to the payment of usury, their creuitors shall by ecclesi- 
astic authority be compelled to forgive them their oath and 
to desist from exacting their usury ; and we make the same 
decree with regard to the Jews by the secular authority, 
that they may be induced to do this. Moreover be it known, 
that the prelates of churches, who are careless in granting 
justice to crusaders, or their proxies, or their families, will 
meet with severe punishment. Moreover, by the advice of 
wise men, we determine that those who thus assume the 
cross, shall prepare themselves so as to assemble on the first 
of June next ensuing, and those who determine to cross by 
sea will assemble in the kingdom of Sicily, some at Brundu- 
sium, and others at Messina, at which place we also have 
determined, under God's favour, to be present, that by our 
assistance and counsel the Christian army may be duly 
regulated, and may set out with the blessing of God and the 
apostolic see. And we, trusting to the mercy of the omnipo- 
tent God, and to the authority of the blessed apostles Peter 
and Paul, by virtue of that power which the Lord has 
granted to us, unworthy though we are, of binding and 
loosing, grunt to all who shall undertake this business in 
person and at their own expense, full pardon for their sins, 
ibr which they shall be truly contrite in heart, and of which 
they shall have made confession, and in the rewarding of tho 
ust we promise an increase of eternal salvation ; and to 

346 ROr.KR OF WEXDOVER. [ A - D - J - 1S - 

those who do not come in person, out at their own expense 
send suitable persons according to their means, and also to 
those who come in person though at the expense of others, 
we likewise grant full pardon for their sins. And it is also 
our will that those should share in this forgiveness who out 
of their own property shall furnish proper supplies for the 
assistance of the said country, or who have rendered season- 
able counsel and assistance on the aforesaid matters. And 
for all those who proceed on this expedition the holy and 
universal synod bestows the favour of its prayers and good 
wishes, to the end that they may better obtain eternal 
salvation. Amen." 

Of the accusation made at Rome against Stephen arcltbishop of 

At this council there appeared the abbat of Beaulieu, and 
the knights Thomas Hardington, and Geoffrey de Crawcombe, 
as proxies of the king of England, against the archbishop of 
Canterbury, openly accusing him of connivance with the 
English barons, and asserting that he showed favour and 
gave advice to the said barons in their attempt to expel the 
said king from the throne of the kingdom ; and although he 
had received letters from the apostolic see, ordering him by 
ecclesiastical censure to restrain the nobles from their persecu- 
tion of the king, he refused to do so, on which he was 
suspended by the bishop of Winchester and his colleagues 
from the performance of divine service and from entering the 
church, and then hurrying to this council he thus by evident 
indications showed himself rebellious against the apostolic 
commands. On hearing these and many other allegations 
againt him the archbishop, as if at once convicted, was not a 
little confused, and made no answer, except asking for the 
withdrawal of his suspension ; but to this the pope is said 
indignantly to have made this answer, " Brother, by St. Peter, 
you will not so easily obtain absolution from us, after having 
inflicted such and so many injuries not only on the king of 
England himself, but also on the church of Home. We will, 
after full deliberation with our brethren, decide how we are 
to punish such a rash fault." And at length, after having 
discussed the matter with liis cardinals, he confirmed the 


sentence of suspension against the archbishop by the under- 
written letter. 

Of Ike confirmation of the suspension of the said archbishop. 

"Innocent, bishop, to all the suffragans of the church of 
Canterbury, greeting. We wish it to be known to you all 
in common that we have ratified the sentence of suspension, 
which our venerable brother P. bishop of Winchester, our 
beloved son P. the subdeacon, and our familiar, the elect of 
Norwich, by the apostolic authority, pronounced against 
Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, and we order it to be 
strictly observed, till the said archbishop, who observes it in 
all humility, may deserve to be released from it, giving 
security according to the form of the church, by the substitu- 
tion of one obligation for another; wherefore by these apostolic 
letters we order the whole brotherhood of you, that you 
bishops also strictly observe the aforesaid sentence, and in 
the meantime that you do not show any obedience to the 
said archbishop. Given at the Lateran this 4th of No- 
vember." After this the canons of York presented master 
Simon Langton to the pope, demanding the confirmation of 
his election ; but to them the pope said, " Know that we do 
not consider him elected, because, for certain reasons we 
could not suffer him to be promoted to such a high dignity ; 
and because that election has been made in opposition to our 
prohibition, we entirely annul and for ever condemn it, and 
it is our decree that he be ineligible to be elected to the 
pontifical dignity without a dispensation of the apostolic see.*' 
Having thus annulled this election, the pope ordered the 
canons to proceed in another, and if they did not he would 
himself provide a fit pastor for them. The canons then, as 
they had before provided, elected W alter de Gray bishop of 
Worcester, on account, as they said, of his carnal purity, as 
one who had continued chaste from his birth till that time ; 
to this the pope is said to have answered, " By St. Peter, 
chastity is a great virtue, and we grant him to you." There- 
fore, after receiving the pall, the said bishop returned to 
England, being bound at the court of Rome in the sum of ten 
thousand pounds of sterling money. The knights Thomas 
Hardington and Geoffrey de Crawcombe, having thus accom- 
plished their mission, returned to England, and went to the 

348 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1213. 

king, who had, as before told, subdued the castle of Rochester, 
to tell him this agreeable news. The king was much elated 
in his mind when he heard that the barons of England were 
excommunicated, the archbishop of Canterbury suspended, 
Walter de Gray promoted to the archbishopric of York, and 
that he could arrange matters as he chose at Rochester castle, 
and he at once moved his camp and proceeded in all haste to 
St. Alban's. On his arrival at that place, he went to the 
chapter-house in the presence of the monks, and ordered the 
letters about the suspension of the archbishop of Canterbury 
to be read, and at once demanded of the conventual assembly 
that a confirmation of the aforesaid suspension under their 
seal should be sent to all the churches of England, conventual 
as well as cathedral, to be made publicly known ; this was 
willingly granted by the conventual assembly, and im- 
mediately after the chapter he retired with a few of his 
advisers into the cloister and devised plans for overthrowing 
his enemies, and arranged as to the payment of the foreigners 
who were fighting under him. At length the king disposed 
his army in two parts, that witli one he might check the 
irruptions of the barons who were staying in the city of 
London, whilst with the other he could go himself to the 
northern parts of England to ravage the whole country with 
fire and sword. These events at St. Alban's took place on 
the 20th of December. The commanders appointed to the 
army which the king left behind, were W. earl of Salisbury, 
his own brother, Falkasius a man of experience in war, 
Savaric de Mauleon, with the troops of Poictou, William 
Briwere with all his force, and Walter surnamed Buck, who 
commanded the Brabantians ; there were also others besides 
these, whom, on account of the number, I omit to mention. 

IIcnc king John marched to the northern parts of England and ravaged ' 
the country. 

King John then, leaving the town of St. Alban's, proceeded 
northward, taking with him William earl of Albemarle, 
Philip d'Albiney, John Marshal, and of the leaders from the 
transmarine provinces, Gerard de Sotengaine, and Godeschal, 
with the Flemings and cross-bow men, and other lawless 
people who neither feared God or regarded man. He rested 
a little while that night at Dunstable, but before day-light 

A.I). 1215.] liAVAGES COMMITTED BY JOHN'. 349 

he set out on his march towards Northampton, and, spread- 
ing his troops abroad, burnt the houses and buildings of 
the baron*, robbing them of their goods and cattle, urid thus 
destroying everything that came in his way, he gave a 
miserable spectacle to all who beheld it. And if the day did 
not satisfy the malice of the king for the destruction of 
property, he ordered his incendiaries to set fire to the hedges 
and towns on his march, that he might refresh his sight with 
the damage done to his enemies, and by robbery might 
support the wicked agents of his iniquity. All the in- 
habitants of every condition and rank who did not take 
refuge in a church-yard, were made prisoners, and, after 
being tortured, were compelled to pay a heavy ransom. The 
chastelains, who were in charge of the fortresses of the 
barons, when they heard of the king's approach, left their 
castles untenanted and fled to places of secrecy, leaving their 
provisions and various stores as booty for their approaching 
enemies ; the king placed his own followers in these empty 
castles, and in this manner marched with his wicked followers 
to Nottingham. 

Of the ravages committed liy his army in the southern part of F.nyland. 

In the meantime William earl of Salisbury, and Falkasius 
with the troops before mentioned, whom the king had left at 
St. Alban's, ordered the castellans of Windsor, Hertford, 
and Berkhampstead with a strong body of troops to pass and 
repass to and from the city of London, to watch and harass 
the barons and to endeavour to cut off their supplies, after 
which they themselves roved through the counties of Essex, 
Hertford, Middlesex, Cambridge, and Huntingdon, collecting 
booty and indulging in rapine ; they levied impositions on 
the towns, made prisoners of the inhabitants, burnt the 
buildings of the barons, destroyed the parks and warrens, cut 
down the trees in the orchards, and having spread fire as far 
as the suburbs of London, they took away an immense booty 
with them ; and when messengers came from various places 
reporting all this to the barons they looked at one another 
and said, " The Lord hath given, and the Lord hath taken 
away,"* &c. On the 28th of November in this year, 

* " The Lord hath given, and the Lord hath taken awny ;" these thing's un- 
to be borne with a firm mind. And when they heard that, amongst other 

350 ROGEK OK WENDOVER. [A.D. 1216. 

Falkasius took tlic town of Ilamslape, * belonging to William 
Maudut ; and on the same day the castle of Tunbridge, 
belonging to the earl of Clare, was taken by the castellans 
of Rochester. Swn after this time Falkasius arrived at the 
castle of Bedford and demanded it of the garrison who 
obtained a truce of seven days, and, finding that they received 
no assistance from their lord William de Beauchamp in that 
time, they surrendered the castle to the aforesaid Falkasius 
on the 2nd of December. 

The surrender of Relvoir castle to the king. 

A.D. 1216. Which was the eighteenth year of king John's 
reign, he was at the castle of Nottingham on Christmas day, 
and on the day after he moved his camp, and arrived at the 
town of Langar, where he passed the night ; in the morning 
he sent special messengers and with threats demanded its 
surrender from the garrison. This castle was in the charge 
of Nicholas a clerk, son of William d'Albiney, and the 
knights William de Studham, and Hugh de Charneles, who 
immediately asked the opinion of their fellow knights, as to 
what should be done ; for they had been told on behalf of the 

abominable excesses perpetrated by the king and his wicked accomplices, 
their wives and daughters were exposed to insult, they said sorrowfully, 
' These are the acts of the well beloved son in Christ, of that pope who pro- 
tects his vassaljn humiliating this noble kingdom in such nn unusual way." 
Oh sorrow! He who ought to heal his languishing people openly spreads 
poison amongst the paupers, whom we ought to call the church. " The more 
conspicuous the man is the greater is his crime." [Juvenal, 8. 140.] In 
the same year on the 2Cih of November, Faulkes took the castle of 
William de Hanslape and <U-stroyed it. On the same day the castellans 
of Rochester took the castle of Tunbridge, belonging to the earl of Clare. 
Soon afterwards Faulkes went to the castle of Bedford and demanded its 
surrender by the garrison ; he however granted them a truce of seven days, 
and they, receiving no assistance during that time from their lord, William 
Beauchamp, surrendered the castle to Faulkes on the 2nd of December. 
The king being quite under the power of Faulkes, who made no distinction 
between right and wrong, gave him the castle of Bedford and a noble lady, 
Margaret de Riparus, for his wife, together with all her property, and also 
gave him the lands of many of the barons of England, that he might 
increase the rage of all of them against him. In the same year, on the day 
of the conversion of St. Paul, William tic Cornhull was consecrated to the 
bishopric of Chester, on the '2'2nd of February, master Benedict, precentor 
of St. Paul's at London to that of Rochester, and muster Richard dean of 
Salisbury to that of Chichcster. 
Probably Hounslow, 


king, that, if he; received a single refusal to surrender the 
castle, VV. d'Albiney .should never eat again but should 
die a disgraceful death. The besieged were thus in a 
perplexity in every way, and did not know what to do; at 
length, however, by the general advice of all, they agreed to 
save their lord from an ignominious death by surrendering 
the castle rather than, by retaining it, to lose their lord as 
well as the castle. Then Nicholas d'Albiney and Hugh de 
Charneles, taking the keys of the castle with them went to 
the king at Langar, and surrendered the castle to him on the 
condition that he would deal mercifully with their lord, and 
that they themselves might continue secure under his pro- 
tection. On the following day then, which was St. John the 
Evangelist's day, the king came to the castle, and gave it 
into the charge of Geoffrey and Oliver de Buteville, two 
brothers, who came from Foictou, and after the oatli of fealty 
arid faithful obedience to him had been taken by all, he 
granted them his letters patent securing to them an indemnity 
of all their property. 

Of the varivua kind* of sufferings endured by the Christian people. 

In the meantime a part of the king's army came to Doving- 
ton, a town belonging to John de Lacy, and linding it 
untenanted, it was immediately razed to the ground by order 
of the king ; after this he separated his wicked army, and 
took his inarch towards the northern provinces, burning the 
buildings belonging to the barons, making booty of their 
cattle, plundering them of their goods and destroying every- 
thing they came to with the sword. The whole surface of 
the earth was covered with these limbs of the devil like 
locu>ts, who assembled from remote regions to blot out every 
thing from the face of the earth, from man down to his 
cattle ; for, running about with drawn swords and open 
knives, they ransacked towns, houses, cemeteries, and 
churches, robbing every one, and sparing neither women or 
children ; the king's enemies wherever they were found were 
imprisoned in chains and compelled to pay a heavy ransom. 
Even the priests whilst standing at the very altars, with the 
cross of the Lord in their hands, clad in their sacred robes, 
were seized, tortured, robbed, and ill-treated ; and there wa.s 
uo pontiff, priest, or Levite to pour oil or wine on their 

352 ROGEU OK \VKNDOVER. [A.D. 121G. 

wounds. Tlicy inflicted similar tortures on knight:? and 
others of every condition, some of them they hung up by the 
middle, some by the feet and legs, some by the hands, and 
some by the thumbs and arms, and then threw salt mixed 
with vinegar in the eyes of the wretches, taking no heed that 
they were made after God's image, and were distinguished 
by the name of Christian; others they placed on tripods or 
gridirons over live coals, and then bathing their roasted 
bodies in cold water they thus killed them, and when, in 
their tortures, the wretched creatures uttered pitiable cries 
and dreadful groans, there was no one to show them pity, 
and their torturers were satisfied with nothing but their 
money. Many who had worldly possessions gave them to 
their torturers, and were not believed when they had given 
their all; others, who had nothing, gave many promises, that 
they might at least for a short time put off the tortures they 
had experienced once. This persecution was general through- 
out England, and fathers were sold to the torture by their 
sons, brothers by their brothers, and citizens by their fellow 
citizens. Markets and traflic ceased, and goods were exposed 
for sale only in church-yards ; agriculture was at a stand- 
still, and no one dared to go beyond the limits of the churches. 
Amidst all these sufferings which were occasioned by the 
barons, they themselves were lying in the city of London like 
women in labour, giving all their attention to their foot! and 
drink, and thinking what new dainty could be set before 
them, which, by removing their nausea, might give them 
new appetite ; but, although they slumbered, the king slept 
not, until he had got all their lands and possessions, castles 
and towns, in his own power from the southern to the 
Scotch sea. 

Of those tcho ircre ajijxiintcd governors of the subdued castles. 

When he had, as above-mentioned, disposed of the 
property of the barons at will, the king gave charge of the 
whole district between the river Tees and Scotland with the 
property and castles to Hugh de Baliol and Philip d'Ulcote, 
allowing them knights and soldiers sufficient for the defence 
of that part of the country. In the city of York he appointed 
Robert Oldbridge, Brian de Lisle, and Geoffrey de Lacy, 
guardians of the property and castles, allotting soldiers to 


them. To William oarl of Albemarle lie gave charge of the 
castles of Rockingham and Sauvey, and a castle called J'iharn 
belonging to William de Coleville. To Falkasius lie entrusted 
the castles of Oxford, Northampton, Bedford, and Cambridge. 
To Ralph le Tyris he gave the castle of Berkhampstead : 
and the castle of Hertford was given into the custody of 
Walter de Godarviile, a knight in the service of Falkahius. 
To these and to all others throughout England the king gave 
orders, as they valued their bodies and their property, to 
destroy all the property of the barons, namely, their castles, 
buildings, towns, parks, warrens, lakes, and mills, and as he 
had begun, to finish the business with equal cruelty; they 
not daring to oppose the king's commands exercised such 
cruelty in the duty assigned to them, that in sight of all they 
made a lamentable spectacle of the houses and other property 
of the barons.* And thus the king returning from the north 
arranged everything at his own pleasure, so that there. only 
remained in the power of the barons the two castles of Mont- 
sorrel and another belonging to Robert de Roos in the 
county of York. Having subdued all this country with 
dreadful slaughter, he went along the. boundaries of Wales to 
the southern provinces, and exercising his cruelty on all who 
opposed him, he besieged and took several of the castles of 
his enemies ; some of these he destroyed and others he 
garrisoned with his own soldiers. 

Of I lie especial excommunication of the barons. 

About this time the English barons, who had been 
formerly excommunicated in general by the supreme pontirt' 
at the king of England's suit, were, by the following lett<v, 
excommunicated by him by name, and individually, in the 
following terms, " Innocent, bishop, to the abbat of Abingdon, 
the archdeacon of Poictou, and master Robert an official of 
the church of Norwich, greeting. We wish it to come to 

* Paris adds : " As lie who was not very wicked seemed good, and he 
who did not do us much injury as he could did none, it seemed to l>e 
advantageous. The king then, roused to a high pitch of rape, marched to 
Die cismarine districts of Scotland, and after taking the castle of Uorwiok 
and others, which seemed impregnable, he taunted king Alexander there- 
with, and alluded to his red hair, saying, ' Thus we will rouse the red fox 
from his lair.' And there he would have spread slaughter and destruction, 
if he had not been recalled by urgent necessity." 

VOL. II. A A. 

354 ROGEK OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1:210. 

your knowledge that at our late general council, we, on 
behalf of the Almighty God, the Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghost, and by the authority of the blessed Peter and Paul 
his apostles, and by our own authority, excommunicated 
and anathematized the barons of England with their aiders 
and abettors, for their persecution of John the illustrious 
king of the English, a king who has assumed the cross and 
is a vassal of the church of Rome, inasmuch as they are 
endeavouring to take from him the kingdom which is known 
to belong to the Roman church. Moreover we excommuni- 
cate ami anathematize all those who have lent their assistance 
or money in attacking that kingdom, or to hinder those who 
ro to the assistance of the said king, and we lay the lands of 
the said barons under the interdict of the church. We also 
lay our hands more heavily on them if they do not desist 
from their designs, since in this respect they are worse than 
Saracens ; and it is our decree that, if any priest of any rank 
or order shall dare to violate the aforesaid sentences of ex- 
communication < r interdict, he may rest assured that he is 
struck with the sword of the interdict, and will be deposed 
from every office and benelice. Wherefore we, by these 
apostolic letters, entrust it to your discretion to publish the 
aforesaid decrees throughout all England, and with our 
authority to cause the same to be observed inviolate notwith- 
standing the interpo.-ition of any condition or appeal. It is 
moreover our will and command, that you, by the apostolic 
authoritv. publicly throughout all England denounce as ex- 
communicated, and can.-..' to be strictly avoided by all, certain 
barons of England, whom our venerable brother the bishop 
of Winchester, and our well-beloved sons the abbat of Read- 
ing, and master Pandulph our sub-deacon and familiar, by us 
delegated, have personally declared excommunicated, because 
they found them guilty in the aforesaid matters, to wit those 
citizens of London who have been the chief promoters of the 
aforesaid crime, and Robert Fitz- Walter, S. carl of Winches- 
ter, R. his son, G. de Mandevillr, and William his brother, 
R. earl of Clare, and G. hi.- son,' II. earl of Hereford, R. de 
Percy, E. de Vescy, J. constable of Chester, William d 
Mowbray, William d'Albiney, \\ . his son, R. de Roos and 
William his son, P. de Uru.-, R. de Cressy, John his son, 
Ralph Fitz-Robert, R. carl Bigod, II. his son, Robert de 


Verc, Fulk Fitz-Warren, W. Malet, W. de Montacute, 
W. Fitz-Marshall, \V. de Beauchamp, 8. de Kime, R. de, 
Mont Begon, and Nicholas de Stuteville, and also several 
others expressed in the decree by name as guilty of the afore- 
said offences, together with their accomplices and abettors; 
and that on each Sunday and feast day you solemnly repub- 
lish this sentence, and order it to be strictly observed ; and 
that you lay the city of London under the interdict of the 
church, putting aside all appeal and checking the opposition 
of all gainsayers, under penalty of the church's censure. We. 
also command that you publicly denounce, as excommuni- 
cated, master Gervase chancellor of London, who, as we have 
heard from the aforesaid arbiters, has been a most open 
persecutor of the said king and his followers, and that you 
threaten him with more severe punishment unless he make 
a meet reparation for his offences. And if all do not, &c. 
Given at the Lateran, the 16th day of December in the 
eighteenth year of our pontificate." 

The aforesaid sentence enforced. 

On receipt of the above-mentioned letters the arbiters 
wrote to all the churches of England, cathedral and con- 
ventual, to the following effect: "Innocent, bishop, &c. 
We strictly command you by authority of this our mandate 
to denounce as excommunicated, the barons of England, 
together with all their aiders and abettors, who are per- 
secuting their lord, king John of England, and all those who 
have lent their assistance or money to seize or attack tin- 
said kingdom, or to obstruct those who go to the assistance 
of the said king, and to make it public that the lands of the 
said barons are laid under the ecclesiastical interdict. Also 
that you denounce as excommunicated all the barons, who 
are personally mentioned in the above letter of our lord the 
pope, together with all others mentioned bv name in the. 
sentence of the aforesaid arbiters, namely, \\alter de Norton, 
Osbert Fitx-Alan, Oliver de Vaux, II. de Braibrot'k, 
R. de Ropele, W. de Ilohivgge, W. de Mauduit. Maurice de 
Gant, R. de Berkley, Adam of Lincoln, R. de Mandeville, 
W. de Lanvaley, Philip Fitx-.Jo!in, William de Tuintuna, 
W. de Iluntingfield, Alexander de I'uintune. R. de Muntiehet, 
R. de Greslev, Gcollrey constable of Meantime, \V. archdeacon 
\ A '2 

"56 KOGEU OK WKNDOVER. ' [A.D. 1216. 

of Hereford. J. de Fereby, R. chaplain of Robert Fitz- Walter. 
Alexander de Suttune, W. de Coleville, R. his son, Oslx-rt de 
Bobi, Osbert Giflfard, Nicholas de Stuteville, Thomas de 
Muletune, the citizens of London, and master G. the chancellor, 
and that you publicly declare the city of London as laid 
under the ecclesiastical interdict. And you will cause these 
sentences of excommunication and interdict to be published 
and solemnly renewed on each Sunday and feast day in the 
churches, as well conventual as parochial, which belong to 
you, strictly fulfilling each article of the apostolic mandate, 
and duly observing it yourselves on your own part, that you 
may not incur the censure of the church, which is due to the 
contumacious. Farewell." When these sentences of excom- 
munication and interdict were published throughout England, 
and became known to all, the city of London alone treated 
them with contempt, inasmuch as the barons determined not 
to observe them, and the priests not to publish them ; for 
they said amongst themselves, that all the letters had been 
obtained under false representations and were therefore of no 
importance, and chiefly for this reason, because the manage- 
ment of lay affairs did not pertain to the pope, since the 
apostle Peter and his successors had only been entrusted by 
the Lord with the control and management of church 
matters ; they therefore paid no regard at all to the sentence 
of interdict or excommunication, but held worship through- 
out the whole city, ringing bells and chanting with loud 

Thf rarayes \n the isle of Ely. 

In the meantime Walter Ruce with his Brabantians 
entered the isle of Ely near Ilcrebeie,* and plundered all the 
churches in that island, compelling the inhabitants by most 
cruel tortures to pay heavy ransoms ; and there was no place 
of refuge where they could place their property or even 
themselves out of danger; for the earl of Salisbury, and 
Falkasius with Savaric de Maulion, coming from the neigh- 
bouring districts, entered the island by the bridge of 
Stunteney, laying waste the whole country, and robbing the 
churches, and seized all that had been left by the before- 
mentioned robbers. They at length entered the cathedral 

"i.e. The station of the army, and was the old fortification, where the 
conqueror's army lay." Tyrrell, ii. p. 790. 

A.D. llilO.] I.Ol'IS CIIOSK.V KING. 357 

rhurch with drawn swords, and after they had plundered it, 
the prior of the place with difficulty redeemed it from being 
burnt by the payment of nine marks of silver. The lord 
Stephen Ridel was dragged out of the church by force and 
lost all that he was possessed of, his horses, books, household 
goods and utensils, and with much difficulty preserved his 
person from the tortures by payment of a hundred marks. 
Fifteen knights were taken prisoners in this island, with 
many others of divers condition and rank. The richer and 
more noble of the knights made their escape over the sea 
with much difficulty and fled to London ; some, of these, 
however, were, not able to accomplish the journey owing to 
the failure of their horses from weakness, and were made 
prisoners. And thus everything in the island fell into the 
possession of these robbers without opposition. 

How the tiarons of England chose Louis for their kiny. 

The barons of England having now lost all that they most 
cared for in the world, as appears from the foregoing narra- 
tive, and having no hope of an improvement in affairs o as 
to recover by their own means what they had lost, were in 
consternation and did not know how to act ; at length, by 
general consent, it was determined to choose some powerful 
man as king, by whose means they could be restored to their 
possessions and former liberties;* and after long irresolution 

* Cursing the king's fickleness, tergiversation, and infidelity they thus 
gave vent to their grief, " Woe to you, John, hist of kings, detested one of 
the chiefs of England, disgrace to the English nobility ! Alas for England 
already devastated, and to he further ravaged ! Alas! England, England, 
till now chief of provinces in all kinds of wealth, thou art laid under tribute; 
subject not only to tire, famine, and the sword, but to the rule of ignoble 
slaves and foreigners, than which no slavery can be worse. We read that 
many other kings, yea, and princes, have, contended even to the death, for 
the "liberty of their land which was in subjection ; hut you, John, of sad 
memory to future ages, have designed and made it your business to enslave 
your country which has been free from times of old, and, that you might 
drag others with you into slavery, like the serpent who dragged down half 
the host of heaven, have in the first place oppressed yourself; you have, 
from a free king, become a tributary, a farmer, and a vassal of slavery, you 
have bound by a bond of perpetual slavery this noble land, which will never 
be freed from the servile shackle, unless through the compassion i t Him 
who may at some time deign to tree us and the whole world, win m the old 
servitude retains under the yoke of sin. And what i* to be s.iid of \ou. ( 
pope ! who ought to shine forlli an exaimdo to the whole world, as tho 

358 nor.EU OF AVKNDOVKK. [,\.n. 1-21H. 

as to whom tlioy should choose, they unanimously determined 
to appoint Louis, son of Philip the French king, as their 
ruler, and to raise him to the throne of England. Their 
reason for this was, that the host of foreigners hy whom the 
king of England was surrounded, were, for the most part, 
under the dominion of Louis and his father, and if, by means 
of these latter, John could be deprived of their assistance, 
being thus left destitute both at home and abroad, he would 
be left to himself and unable to contend against them. This 
resolution being satisfactory to all, they sent 8. earl of 
Winchester, and Robert Fits-Walter as special messengers to 
king Philip and Louis his sou, with letters under the seals 
of all the barons, earnestly beseeching the father to send his 
son to reign in England, and the son to come there to take, 
the crown. These messengers immediately made, all haste 
arid delivered the aforesaid letters to the French king and 
his son Louis ; but Philip, after he had read the letters 
and understood their purport, told the messengers in reply 
that he would not send his son before he had, for greater 
security, received good hostage's from the barons, at least 
twenty-four of the most distinguished men in the whole king- 
dom. The messengers, on hearing this, made all possible 
speed and reported the answer they had received to the 
barons, who, having no other resort, sent hostages to the 
French king at his pleasure to the number above-mentioned. 
The hostages on their arrival were committed to safe custody 
at Compiegne, and Louis, somewhat encouraged, made pre- 

fathcr of holiness, the mirror of piety, the defender of justice, and the 
guardian of truth ; do you agree to this, do you commend and protect such 
a one? Hut because lie inclines to you, you defend this drainer and 
extorter of the wealth of England and the English nobility, that every- 
thing may he absorbed in the gulp!) of Roman avarice, but this plea and 
excuse, this sin and accusation art- before dod." And the barons in their 
complaints and lamentations, uttered curses on the king and the pope, thus 
inning without hopes of atonement, since it is written, " Thou shalt not 
curse the king;" and thus transgressed the truth and thir reverence, since 
they declared that the illustrious king John was a slave, when to be a slave 
to God is to be a king. At length they determined to choose some other 
prince, by whose means they could be restored to their former condition ; 
thinking that no king could reign more tyrannically than John, then adopt- 
ing the following maxim : 

" When fate on man its force has spent, 
He need not fear the next event." .!/. I'urit. 


parations for tlio expedition which ho desired above nil 
things; but as iiis own departure on such an arduous expedi- 
tion could not be effected in a hurry, he scut messengers in 
advance to give the barons hope and also to try their iidelitv. 
The names of these were, the castellan of St. Omar, tin- 
castellan of Arras, Hugh Thacun, Eustace de Neville, 
Baldwin liretel, W. de Wirnes, Giles de JNIclun, VV. d<- 
Beaumont, Giles de llersi, and Biset de Fersi ; all these with 
a large retinue of knights and followers came by the river 
Thames, and, to the great joy of the barons, arrived at London 
on the 27th of February. In this year Stephen archbishop 
of Canterbury gave security at Rome that he would abide by 
the decision of the pope on the matters before mentioned, and 
was released from his suspension, but on condition that he, 
would not go to England before peace was fully restored 
between the king and barons. 

T'lf renewal of the sentence passed against the larons for their contumacy. 

In the same year at Easter, the abbat of Abingdon and 
his co-arbiters, seeing the contumaciousncss of the barons 
and of the citizens of London, laid their hands on them more 
heavily, and, repeating the, edict, they gave orders to all the 
conventual churches of England to publi>h the sentence 
which had been issued in the following form: "II., by the. 
grace of God, abbat of Abingdon, &c. In pursuance of the 
apostolic mandate imposed on us, as the purport of our let- 
ters which we lately transmitted to you, has more fully 
informed you, we have not merely once, but often, sent our 
letters containing the words of our lord the. pope's warrant 
to the chapters of St. Paul and St. Martin, to G. de Boc- 
lande, dean of the said church, and to the conventual assembly 
of the Holy Trinity at London, by the apostolic authority, 
ordering them at once to publish and inviolably observe the 
sentences of excommunication and interdict which arc issued 
against the persecutors of the said king and the city of Lon- 
don ; but they irreverently presume to set at defiance the 
apostolic mandate, for they contumaciously refuse to publish 
the said sentences or even to observe them, knowingly 
taking part in divine services with those excommunicated, 
and thus in every respect proving themselves transgressors 
of the decrees of our lord the pope, and open despiscrs of his 

360 ROGKU OF WKNOOVKU. [.V.D. 1'21G. 

mandate : of which we have full and sure information, by 
letters patent of the chapter of St. Paul and St. Martin, 
specially sent us by the clerks and messengers of the said 
dean, and by other sufficient proofs. Moreover there have 
lately arrived from the French kingdom, certain nobles with 
an armed band of knights and followers, all of whom we al.-o 
undoubtedly wish to be fettered with the sentence of excom- 
munication, for they invade the kingdom of England, in 
opposition to our lord the pope and the Roman church, are 
daily robbing it, and in part keep possession of it, as is evi- 
dent to all in England as well as, elsewhere; wherefore, by 
virtue of the apostolic authority, of which we discharge the 
duties in this business, \v<- denounce, as excommunicated, 
the said nobles, namely, the castellan of St. Omar, Hugh 
Thaeun, Eustace de Neville, the castellan of Arras, Bald- 
win Bretel, W. de Wimes, (lilcs de Melun, W. de Beaumont, 
(iiles de Ilersi, Biset de l-Vr.-i, with their accomplices, and 
all those who have lent their assistance or money against the 
king, to invade or take 1 possession of the kingdom of England, 
and also the above-mentioned dean, and also all canons and 
clerks of every rank and order in the aforesaid churches and 
city, to whose knowledge the mandate had come, who have 
either absented themselves, or by any means prevented its 
reaching them. And by the same authority we also enjoin 
you publicly to denounce as excommunicated all those above- 
mentioned, and to cause it to be published throughout the 
whole of your parish, expressly naming as well the dean a.s 
the aforesaid nobles, so that, by showing attention to this 
matter, as well a< that which was contained in his lirst 
letters to you, you may not be accused of negligence to tho 
supreme pontiff, but rather be commended for your diligence. 

Ilo>c I.oni.-i unit ,-n:i.t ili'ory Idlers to the /larons. 

About this time Louis wrote to the barons who were 
staying in London and to the citi/,>-ns as follows: "Louis, 
eldest son of king Philip, to all his friends and allies in 
London, health and sincere affection. Ki-st assured that on 
the approaching Easter Sunday we will be at Calais readv, 
under God's favour, to cross the. sea. Inasmuch as vou have 
conducted yourselves strenuously and bravely in nil my 

A.n. 1-210.] A. LEGATE SENT TO IMIIUP. 361 

affairs, we return you abundant thanks; and we earnestly 
ask and requires that, as you have always done, you will con- 
tinue to conduct yourselves with courage. We also wish 
you to be assured that, in a short time you will haves us to 
assist you ; and we earnestly beg of you in this matter not 
to trust to any other false suggestions, or letters, or mes- 
sages, for we believe that you will receive false letters and 
misleading messengers. Farewell." About this time the 
barons went from the city of London, in company with the. 
knights who had lately come from France, to enjoy the sport 
of tilting with only lances and cloth armour ; and after 
spending great part of the day in urging their horses to 
speed and striking one another with their lances, one of the 
FrencJi knights in the sport couched his lance against 
Geoffrey de Mandeville earl of Essex, and mortally wounded 
him ; the earl however forgave the man who had wounded 
him, and a few days afterwards died to the regret of many. 

7/oic Walo cttrnc as legate to the French kiny. 

About this same time master Walo was sent by the pope 
to France by the apostolic authority, to forbid Louis to pro- 
ceed to England; he on coming to king Philip delivered to 
him deprecatory letters from the pope, the contents of which 
were, that he was not to permit his son Louis to go to Eng- 
land as an enemy, or to harass the English king in any way, 
but to protect and love him as a vassal of the church of 
Rome, and as one whose kingdom, by right of dominion, 
belonged to the said church of Rome. The French king, 
when he read this, immediately answered, " The kingdom of 
England never was the inheritance of Peter, nor is it, nor 
shall it be. For king John, in times long past, attempted 
unjustly to deprive his own brother king Richard of the 
kingdom of England, on which he was accused of treachery, 
convicted of the same in that monarch's presence, and con- 
demned by the decision of the said king at his court, and 
sentence was pronounced by Hugh de Pusax bishop of 
Durham ; therefore he was not a true king, and could not give 
away his kingdom. Besides this, had he ever been a lawful 
king, he afterwards forfeited his kingdom by the murder of 
Arthur, for which deed he was condemned in our court.'"' 
He also said that no king or prince could give away his 


kingdom without the consent of his barons, who were 
bound to defend th:it kingdom ; and it' the pope was de- 
termined to defend that error, it would bo a most per- 
nicious example to all kingdoms. The nobles then exclaimed 
with one voice that they would oppose that point to the 
death, namely, that a kino: or prince could at his pleasure 
alone give his kingdom away, or make it tributary, whereby 
the nobles of the kingdom would become slaves. These 
events took place at Lyons on the fifteenth day after Easter. 

lloie the same legate forbade Louis to go to England. 

On the following day. at his father's request, Louis came 
to the conference, and looking on the legate with a scowling 
brow, took his seat near his father ; the legate then, with 
many entreaties, begged of Louis not to go to England to 
invade or seize on the inheritance of the church of Koine, 
and entreated his father, as he had done before, not to 
permit him to go. The French king, however, immediately 
replied to the legate in these words, "I have always been 
a devoted and faithful ally of our lord the pope and the 
church of Koine, and in all transactions have till this time 
effectually promoted their welfare, neither shall my son 
Louis now have my advice in attempting anything against 
the church of Koine ; however, if Louis can prove, any claim 
that he has to the kingdom of England, let him be heard, and 
let what is right be conceded to him." On this, a certain 
knight, whom Louis had appointed to plead for him, rose, 
and in the hearing of all, answered, "My lord king, it is a 
fact well known to all that John, called king of England, 
was, by the decision of his peers in your court, condemned to 
death for his treachery to his nephew Arthur, whom he 
murdered with his own hands ; and was after that deposed 
by the barons of England from his sovereignty over them, 
on account of the many murders and other offences he had 
committed there, and for this reason the said barons had 
made war against him, to drive him from the throne, of 
the kingdom. Moreover, the said king, without the consent 
of his nobles, gave his kingdom of England to our lord the 
pope and the church of Koine, that he might again resume 
possession of it from them, on the annual payment of a 
thousand marks. And if he could not L'ive the crown of 

A.D. 1-210.] I.OUIS DISOBEYS THE POI'F.. 363 

England to '.my one without the baron'.s consent, lie could 
however resign it ; and as soon as lie resigned it, he ceased 
to lx: a king, and the kingdom was without a king. A vacant 
kingdom could not be settled without asking the barons ; on 
which they chose Louis as their lord, by reason of his wife, 
whose mother, namely, the queen of Castile, was the only sur- 
vivor of all the brothers and sisters of the said king of Eng- 
land. The legate then pleaded that king John had assumed the 
cross, on which account he ought, according to the decree of 
the general council, to have peace for four years, and all hi? 
possessions ought to remain secure under the protection of 
the apostolic see ; and therefore Louis ought not in the 
meantime to make war on the said king, or deprive him of 
his kingdom. To this the proctor of Louis replied, " King 
John, before assuming the cross, had made war on our lord 
Louis, and besieged and destroyed the castle of lUincham : 
he had likewise taken Aria, and burnt the greatest part of 
it, and, having made prisoners of several knights and their 
followers at that place, he still detains them prisoners. lie 
also besieged the castle of Liens, and slew a great number at 
that place ; the county of Gisnes, which is the lawful fee of 
our lord Louis, he ravaged with fire and sword ; and even 
after assuming the cross, he is still at war against Louis, 
wherefore, he can justly wage war against the said king." 
The legate, however, not content with these reasons, forbade 
Louis, as before, under penalty of excommunication, to pre- 
sume to enter England, and also his father to permit him to 
go. On hearing this, Louis said to his lather, " Although I 
am your liege subject in the fee which you have given me in 
the provinces this side of the sea, it is not your duly to 
determine anything concerning the kingdom of England ; I 
therefore throw myself on the decision of my peers, as to 
whether you ought to hinder me from seeking my rights, and 
especially a right in which you cannot afford me justice. I 
therefore ask of you not to obstruct my purpose of seeking 
my rights, because, for the inheritance of my wife I will, it' 
necessary, contend even to death ;" and with these words 
Louis retired from the conference with his followers. Tin 
legate seeing this, asked the king to grant him sate conduct 
as far as the sea-coast ; to which the king replied, " We will 
willingly grant you safe conduct through our territory, but 

364 KOGKU OF Wr.NDOVKR. [A. I). 1210 

if you should by chance fall into the hands of Eustace the 
monk, or any other of Louis's friends who are in charge of 
the seas, do not blame me for anything untoward that 
befalls you." On this, the legate departed from the court in 
a rage. 

How Louis obtained his father's permission, and tcent to England. 

On the following day, which was that of St. Mark the 
evangelist, Louis went to his father at Melun, and begged of 
him not to obstruct hi> proposed journey ; he also added 
that he had given lii> oath to the barons of England that he 
would come to their assistance, and therefore, he would 
rather be excommunicated bv the pope for a time, than incur 
the charge of 'falsehood. The king, seeing the firmness and 
anxiety of his son, granted him his permission, and dis- 
missed him with his blessing. Louis then sent messengers 
to the court of Koine, there to set forth in the presence of 
the pope the right which lie claimed for himself to the king- 
dom of England, and then, in company with his earls, barons, 
knights, and numerous followers, he made all haste to the 
sea-coast, that he might reach England before the legate. 
When they all reached the port of Calais, they found there 
six hundred ships and eighty cogs, all well equipped, which 
Eustace the monk had collected there against Louis's arrival; 
they therefore all immediately embarked and put to sea with 
all speed, making for the isle of Thanet, where they landed 
at a place called Stanhore. on the twenty-first of May. 
King John was then at Dover with his army, but as he was 
surrounded with foreign mercenaries and knights from the 
transmarine provinces, lie did nor venture to attack Louis on 
his landing, lest in the battle they might all leave him and 
go over to the side of Louis ; he therefore chose to retreat 
for a time, rather than to give battle on an uncertainty. He 
therefore retreated before Louis, leaving Dover castle in 
charge of Hugh de Burgh, and continued his llight till he 
arrived first at Guildford, and afterwards at Winchester. 
Louis, finding no one to oppose him. disembarked at Sand- 
wich, and soon subdued the whole of the district, with the 
exception of the castle of Dover. lie then went to London, 
and was there received with great joy by all the barons ; he 
then received homage and fealty from all of them, and from 

A.D. 1210.] I.OUIS f-riJUL'KS THE PKOVINX'KS. 3G.1 

the citizens wlio had been waiting his arrival tin-re, whilst 
he himself swore (in the holy gospels that he would grant 
good laws and restore their inheritances to each and all of 
them. He also wrote to the king of Scots and to all the 
nobles of England who had not yet done homage to him, 
ordering them to make their fealty to him, or to retire with 
all speed from England. At this command, there came to 
him William earl of Warrerie, W. earl of Arundel, W. earl of 
Salisbury, VV. Mareschal the younger, and many others besides 
them, abandoning king John, as though they were quite sure 
that Louis would obtain the kingdom. Louis appointed 
Master Simon Langton his chancellor, who preached to 
the citizens of London, as well as the excommunicated barons, 
when they performed divine service, and also induced Louis 
himself to agree to it. 

Walo ttie leyate follcws Louis to Knyland. 

About this same time, Walo the legate, when he was in- 
formed of Louis's departure to England, as a diligent agent 
of the apostolic mandate, crossed the sea to follow him, and 
passing through the enemies unhurt, he came to kinu; John 
at (Jloucester ; the latter received him with great pleasure, 
and rested all his hopes of being able to oppose his enemies 
on him. The legate then convoked all the bishops, abbats, 
and clergy whom he could muster, and, amidst the ringing of 
bells, and with lighted tapers, excommunicated by name the 
said Louis, with all his accomplices and abettors, especially 
Master Simon Langton, at the same time ordering the said 
bishops and all others to make this sentence public through- 
out all England, on every Sunday and feast day ; but to all 
this, Master Simon Langton and Master Gervase d'Hobregge, 
precentor of St. Paul's church at London, and several others, 
made reply, that they had appealed on behalf of Louis, and 
therefore that they considered that sentence as null and void. 
At this time, all the knights and soldiers from the country >f 
Flanders and the transmarine provinces, except only those < f 
Poictou, abandoned the cause of king John, some of them 
joining Louis, and others returning home. 

How Louis subdued the southern provinces of Kng'anil. 
Louis about this time left the city of London with a largt* 

366 ROGER or \VKXDOVI:K. [.v.n. 1-21G. 

body of knights, and invaded the county of Kent, and, as no 
one opposed him, he .soon subdued it, with the exception of 
Dover castle. Marching onward, he by force gained pos- 
session of Sussex, with all the towns and fortresses ; but 
here a young man named William, refusing to make his 
fealty to Louis, collected a company of a thousand bow-men, 
and taking to the woods and forests with which that part of 
the country abounded, he continued to harass the French 
during the whole war, and slew many thousands of them. 
Ix>uis at length came to the city of Winchester, and reduced 
it to subjection, together with the castle and the whole 
country round. Hugh de Neville went to Louis, sur- 
rendered to him the castle of Marlborough, and did homage 
to him. After this, Louis went to Odiham, a town belong- 
ing to the bishop of Winchester, and laid siege to the tower. 
Li this tower were only three knights and ten soldiers, but 
they boldly defended it ; on the third day after the French 
had arranged their engines round the tower, and had made 
frequent and fierce assaults on it, the aforesaid three knights 
and their soldiers made a sally from the tower, and seizing 
the same number of knights and soldiers on the adverse side, 
regained the tower without loss to themselves. However, 
after the siege had lasted eight days, they surrendered the 
tower to Louis, and came out themselves only thirteen in 
number, saving their horses and arms, to the great admira- 
tion of the French. All t'.ie southern districts had thus fallen 
into the power of Louis, except the castles of Dover and 
Windsor, which, l>< ing well garrisoned, awaited Louis's 
approach. In the meantime, William de Mandeville, Robert 
Fitz-\\ alter, and William de Huntingfield, with a powerful 
army of knights and soldiers, had reduced to subjection under 
Louis the counties of Kssex and Suffolk. Whilst all this 
was going on, king John had laid in good supplies of pro- 
visions and arms in the castles of Wallingford, Corl'e, Ware- 
ham, Bristol, Devizes, and others too numerous to mention. 

The j/rocerdinff* of Loiii.\'s m>-s*cn(jrrs til Itomr. 

At this time, the messengers whom Louis had sent to the 
court of Koine wrote to him as follows ; ' To our mo-t 
puissant lord, Louis, eldest son of the king of the French, 
D. de Corbeil, I. dj Montcvi.sito, and (i., me-- 

A.D. 1210.] J.OUs'.S MKSSK.NGEUS AT ItO.MF.. 367 

senders, health and faithful service. Be it known to your 
excellency, that on the Sunday ad mensem Paschce we wont 
to our lord the, pope, without harm to our persons and pro- 
perty, and at once went before him on the same day. \Vi- 
found him cheerful, but apparently having cause of sorrow ; 
and when \ve had presented our letters and saluted him on your 
behalf, he answered us, saying, ' Your lord is not worthy of our 
salutation.' 1 immediately answered, ' Father, I believe that 
when you have heard the reasons and excuses of our lord, 
you will iind him worthy of your salutation, as a Christian, 
a catholic, and one always devoted to you and the church < f 
Rome ;' and thus we retired from his presence that day ; but, 
as we were going away, his holiness most kindly told us that 
he would willingly grant us audience when and as often as 
we wished. On the following Tuesday our lord the pop' 
sent an attendant of his to your dwelling, ordering us to come 
to him, on which we immediately went before him ; and 
after we had stated our case, he said much in reply to us 
which seemed to blame your actions and your reasons, and as 
soon as he had finished his discourse, he said, striking his 
breast and groaning in spirit, ' Woe is me that in this ail'air 
the church of (Jod cannot escape trouble ; for if the king of 
Kngland is conquered, we are mixed up with his trouble, 
because lie is our vassal, and we are bound to protect him ; 
if your lord Louis is conquered, in his harm the church of 
Rome is harmed, and we consider an injury to him as oiie to 
ourselves; we always indulged the hope, and we indulg,- it 
now, that he would be in all its times of need the arm in 
oppression the solace, and in persecution the refuge of the, 
church of Koine.' And finally, he said that he would 
sooner die than that any harm should befall you in this 
business ; and thus we left him that day. Moreover, by the 
advice of some of the cardinals, we are waiting for the day 
of Ascension, that no decree may be made against you, as on 
that day it is the pope's custom to repeat his sentences ; 
for the pope had himself told us that he expected messengers 
from the lord Walo. Farewell !" 

368 ROT.F.U OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1216. 

Here are given the charges </ Ln'ti.i and the barons o/ England ayainst 
king John. 

The first statement laid before our lord the pope against 
king John, by the aforesaid messengers, was, that he had 
treacherously with his own hands killed his nephew Arthur, 
by the worst kind of death, called by the English, murder ; 
1'or which crime the said king had been condemned to death 
at the court of the French king, by the judgment of his 
peers. To this charge the pope made this opposition, namely, 
that the barons of France could not adjudge him to death, 
because he was an anointed king, and therefore their supe- 
rior ; by the barons, as his inferiors, he could not be con- 
demned to death, because the higher rank in some measure 
destroys the power of the inferior ; and besides, it seems 
contrary to civil law as well as in opposition to the canons, 
to give sentence of death on a man who is not present, not 
summoned, convicted, or confessed to be guilty. To this the 
messengers replied, " It is the custom of the French king- 
dom that the king should have all kind of jurisdiction over 
his liege subjects, and the king of England was his liege 
subject, his count and duke ; therefore, although he was 
elsewhere an anointed king, yet, as an earl and duke he was 
under the jurisdiction of our lord, the king of the French. 
And if an earl or duke committed this offence in the French 
kingdom, he could, and ought to be condemned to death by 
his peers ; and even though lie were not a duke, or a count, 
or a liege subject of the king of the French, and had com- 
mitted the offence in the French kingdom, the barons could. 
for a crime perpetrated in that kingdom, condemn him to 
death; otherwise, if the king of England could not, because 
lie was an anointed king, be condemned to death, he might 
come into the kingdom of France, and with impunity murder 
the barons as he murdered Arthur."* In answer to this, the 

* Paris here adds : " The truth of this matter is as follows, John 
in fact was not justly or formally deprived of Normandy ; because, when 
he was deprived of it, not judicially, but by force, he, to obtain the re- 
storation of it, sent special mesoni;crs, men of prudence, to Philip, the 
French king, namely, Kustace bishop of Ely, and Hubert de Burgh, men 
of learning and eloquence, to tell that monarch that he would willingly 
come to his court to a/wort his claim, and to answer all accusations in that 
matter, on condition that safe conduct was granted him. Philip, though 
not with a calm countenance or cordially, replied, Willingly, let him come 


pope said, " Many emperors and princes, and even Freneh 
kings, are reported \>y history to have slain many innocent 
persons, yet we do not read that any one of these was con- 
demned to death ; and when Arthur was imprisoned at 
Mirebcau, not as an innocent person, but as being guiltv, 
and a traitor to his lord and uncle, to whom he had done 
homage and sworn allegiance, he could lawfully be con- 
demned to the most disgraceful death without any trial. 

The second charge made by the above against king John. 

The second charge against the king was, that, though 
often summoned, he did not appear in person to take his 
trial, and sent no one to answer for him in the court of 
France. To this charge the pope replied, that, if the king 
of England had been so contumacious as not to appear or 
send when summoned, no one ought or could be punished 
with death on account of contumaciousness ; therefore the 
barons of France could not condemn him to death, but could 
punish him in another way, namely, by depriving him of 
his fee. The messengers to this made answer, ' It is the 

safe and in pence.' The bishop then said,' And m:iy he return ? my lord." 
The king replied, ' Yes, if the judgments of his peers aJl'-ws of it." And 
when all the messengers begged of him that John might have safe conduct 
to and from his court, I'hilip became enraged, and replied with his usual 
oath, ' My the saints of France, not unless by the judgment of his peers.' 
The bishop then spoke of the dangers which might happen through his 
going to the French king's court, and said, ' My lord king, the duke of 
Normandy could not come to your court unless the king of England also 
came, since the duke and the king are the same person, and this the barons 
of England would not allow, even though the king himself wished to 
come ; for there would be imminent danger, as you know, of his bring 
made prisoner or being killed.' To this the king replied, ' And what <!' 
this, my lord bishop ! It is well known that the duke of Normandy, \vlin 
is my tenant, gained possession of England by force, and if anything 
accrues to a subject, does the superior lord thereby lose his rights ! Not 
o.' The messenger then being unable to make any reasonable reply to 
this, returned to the king of England, and told him all that had pa,w<!. 
The king, however, would not trust to chance, or to the judgment "f tlu- 
French, who did not like him ; especially as he fe:ired that he would be 
accused of the shameful murder of Arthur, as says Horace, ' All the 
foot-marks led to the lion's cave, but none led back again.' The Fri-ncii 
nobles, however, proceeded to trial, which thev ought not to have done br 
rights; and by their judgment John was condemned when absent, though. 
he would have appeared if he could. Wherefore, as king John waa con- 
demned by IT'S eivmirti, he was not properly condemned. 
VOL. 11. 1J B 

370 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [.V.D. 1'21G. 

custom in the Frcncli kingdom, when any one is accused 
before his judge of the cruel crime of murder, and the 
accused does not appear, and pleads no legitimate excuse, for 
not appearing, to consider him as guilty, and to adjudge him as 
if he were guilty of all the charges, even to sutler death, as 
though he were present." In answer to this the pope said, 
that, between the king of France and the duke of Normandy, 
there might hi- an agreement or an old custom, that the duke 
of Normandv was only bound to come, on the citing of the 
king of France, as far as the borders ; and therefore, if he 
did not come when summoned, he did not commit an offence, 
nor could he, on that account, be punished in such a way. 
The pope also said, that if the sentence had been pronounced 
on the king of England, it had not however been carried 
into effect, as he was not yet put to death ; and therefore his 
children which were born afterwards, ought to succeed him 
in the kingdom, because the king of England had not com- 
mitted the crime of treason or of heresy, for which offences 
only the son is disinherited for his father's crime. The 
messengers in reply to this pleaded, " It is the custom in 
the kingdom of France, that when any one is condemned to 
death, his offspring begotten after his condemnation does not 
succeed him, but those children born to him before his sen- 
tence ought to succeed him ;" but the messengers however 
would not dispute, this point. The pope next said, that 
although the king of England was condemned to death, and 
sons of his flesh were born, Blanche ought not to succed him 
but those nearer related to his family, namely, the children 
of his eldest brother, and therefore the sister of Arthur, or 
Otho, who was the son of his eldest sister; and if it were 
decided that the queen of Cu-tile ought to succeed him, and 
consequently Blanche as her daughter, it would not be 
proper, because a mal . ought to be preferred, namely, the 
king of Castile; and if there was no male, the queen of 
Leon ought to be preferred as the eldest. To this the 
messengers said, " The brother's sons ought not to succeed 
him, as the brother was not living when the .sentence was 
pronounced, and the sister of his nephew, Arthur, ought not 
to succeed him, because she was nut his lineal descendant, 
although the daughter of his brother ; likewise the mother of 
Otho was not living at the time of the sentence, therefore 


she did not succeed him, consequently Otho ought not to 
succeed him; but the queen of Castile was alive, who was 
his sister, and therefore succeeded, and on the death of the 
queen of Castile, her children succeeded and ought to succeed. 
To this the pope replied, that the king of Castile ought to 
succeed as lie was the male heir, or the queen of Leon 
as the eldest female heir. The messengers replied, that 
when there were several heirs, who ought to succeed a 
person, and the one who came first in succession, was still in 
the matter, or neglected to enter on his inheritance, the one 
who came after him in succession, if he wished to enter on 
the inheritance, ought to be invested with it, according to 
approved custom, saving however the right of the other if he 
reclaimed it; and therefore our lord Louis enters on the 
kingdom of England as his own, and if there is any nearer 
relative who wishes to lay a claim in this matter, our lord 
Louis will do what is right in it. 

Tite third objection against king John, 

The pope then said that the kingdom of England was his 
own and under his rule by reason of the fealty, which had 
been sworn to him concerning it, and also by reason of the 
revenue which was paid to him out of the kingdom ; and 
therefore, as he had committed no crime, Louis ought not to 
make war on him, or to deprive him by force of the kingdom 
of England, especially as the king of England held many 
possessions in lee of the king of France, for which he might 
make war on him. In reply to this the messengers said, 
" War, and a just war, was entered upon against the king of 
England before that kingdom belonged to your holiness ; but 
William Longsword and many others with him came with a 
powerful force from the kingdom of England, and inflicted 
many injuries and caused much loss to our lord Louis, there- 
fore he may with justice make war against the king of 
England." To this the pope replied, that, although the king 
of England made war on Louis, the latter ought not to have 
made war on him, but ought to have complained to his lord, 
namely the pope, to whom the king of England as a vassal 
was subject. The messengers then said that the custom was, 
when war was made on any one by the vassal of another on 
his own authority, he who was attacked could make war on 

372 ROGEIl OF WENDOVER. [A D. 1216. 

the other on his own authority, and was not bound to com- 
plain to the lord of the other ; and if the lord himself de- 
fended that vassal as long as he continued such war, the lord 
himself was said to make war. The pope then said, that, 
at the general council it had been decreed, that there should 
be peace or a truce for four years between all who were at 
difference, in order to give succour to the Holy Land, and 
therefore Louis ought not during that time to make war on 
the kingdom of England. The messengers replied, that, on 
his departure from France, Louis had not been called on to 
keep the peace or truce; and even if he had, they believed 
that there was so much ill will in the king of England, that 
he would not keep either peace or truce. The pope next 
said that the king of England had assumed the cross ; 
wherefore by a decree of the general council, he and all his 
possessions ought to be protected by the church. To this 
the messengers answered, that the king of England had 
made war on Louis before he took the cross, and had in- 
flicted many injuries on him, had taken his castles, and even 
now detained his knights and soldiers in prison, being still 
at war against Louis, and will not make peace with him or 
grant him a truce, although he had been often asked to do so. 
The pope then told them that, by the common consent of the 
general council, he had excommunicated the barons of Eng- 
land and all their abettors, and therefore Louis had incurred 
that sentence. The messengers replied that their lord Louis 
did not assist the barons of England nor abet them, but only 
sought his own rights ; and Louis did not, and could not 
believe that the, pope or the council would excommunicate 
any one unjustly, for at the time of the sentence his holiness 
did not know that Louis had any claim to the kingdom of 
England, and as this had been proved to him, Louis did not 
believe that the council would take away his right from him. 
The pope next said that the French king, as well as his son 
Ixniis, even after the sentence had been pronounced against 
the king of England by the French barons, had called John 
a king, considered him as a king, and had made treaties 
with him as king of England. To this the messengers 
answered, that, after the declaration of the sentence against 
the king by the barons, they had never considered him a 
king, but had called him " the deposed king," in the same 


manner a.s an abbat or any one else is said to be deposed. 
Lastly the pope said, that he would determine on these mat- 
ters before the messengers arrived from Walo.* 

Jfnw Louis ravuyed the eastern jurovinces of England. 
About this time Louis made an incursion into the eastern 

* C. and IJ. insert here: "One day, however, Louis thinking to corrupt the 
fidelity and firmness of Hubert de Burgh, by trying his avarice, sent word that 
he wished to haven peaceable interview with him ; and when Hubert con- 
sented to this, Louis sent special messengers to him to a postern gate which 
seemed a fit place for the interview. The messengers who were sent to him 
were the earl of Salisbury, surnamed William Longespee, who brought with 
him for security Thomas de Burgh, brother of the said Hubert, who had been 
taken prisoner by Louis at the castle of Norwich, and three of the most noble 
of the French. Hubert then came to the postern, followed by five cross-bow 
men with bows bent and arrows fitted, s<> that if there was necessity, they 
should not spare their enemies. Earl William then said, ' The death of 
king John, once our lord, is, I believe, no secret to you, Hubert, nor are 
vou ignorant of the oath of Louis, who has sworn, that when lie takes pos- 
session of this castle by force of arms, all found in it shall be hung without 
fail. Consult therefore your own safety and honour. You cannot long 
retain this castle; the power of our lord Louis increases daily, while that 
of the king decreases, by strong daily assaults; or you will at least perish 
of hunger, unless you be wise and yield to my advice, for you see all 
hope of help has vanished: therefore without any delay or difficulty, give 
up this castle to Louis, and you will not he branded with perfidy, since you 
cannot hold possession of it much longer ; and you see that others vie with 
one another in giving their fealty to him.' Thomas, his brother, moreover 
said to him with tears, ' My dear brother, have compassion on yourself, on 
me, and all of us, by yielding to the advice of these nobles ; for we shall then 
all be freed from impending destruction.' The earl added, ' Listen to my 
advice, Hubert, and obey the will of our lord Louis, and he will give you, 
as an inheritance, the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, and you will also 
become his chief counsellor and friend ; but, if you do not this, your 
brother Thomas will be hung, and you in a short time will suffer the same 
punishment." To this Hubert then replied : ' Earl, wicked traitor that you 
are, although king John, our lord and your brother, be dead, he has heirs, 
namely your nephew, whom, although every body else deserted him, you, 
his uncle, ought not to abandon, but ought to be a second father to him; 
why then, base and wicked man that you are, do you talk thus to me?' 
then casting a scowling look on him and breaking out into a harsher tone, 
he added, 'Do not speak another word, because by the lance of (Jod, if 
YOU open your mouth to say any thing more, you shall all be pierced with 
numbers of arrows, nor will 1 even spare my own brother.' The earl 
therefore, and those who were with him seeing that they would be killed in 
the flash of an eye, because the cross-bow men were ready to discharge their 
weapons, retreated at once, glad to escape alive and uninjured. \\ hen 
Louis heard this, although he was sorry and enraged, he greatly applauded 
the firmness of Hubert." 


part of England, pillaged the cities and towns of Essex, 
Suffolk, and Norfolk, and finding the castle of Norwich 
deserted he garrisoned it with his own soldiers and imposed 
a tax on all those districts ; lie also sent a large force against 
the town of Lynn, which he reduced, and, taking the inhabit- 
ants away prisoners, he compelled them to pay a heavv 
ransom ; after this the French returned with great booty and 
spoil to London. At that place Gilbert de Gant came to 
Louis, and was by him presented with the sword of the 
county of Lincoln ; Louis then sent him there to check the 
incursions of the garrisons of the castles of Nottingham and 
Newark, who had destroyed with fire all the abodes and fine 
buildings of the barons in that district, and had taken their 
lands into their own possession. At the same time Robert 
de Roos, Peter de Brus, and Richard Percy reduced the city 
of York with the whole, county to subjection to Louis ; 
Gilbert de Gant, and Robert de Roppelle took the city of 
Lincoln and that county, with the exception of the castle, and 
imposed an annual tax on the whole of it ; thence marching 
into Iloyland, they plundered it, and levied a tax on it ; the 
king of Scots subdued the whole county of Northumberland 
for Louis, except the castles which Hugh de Baillul, and 
Philip de Hulecotes most courageously defended against the 
attacks of the enemy ; however all these provinces were sub- 
dued and swore allegiance to Louis. In this year Walo the 
legate exacted a tax on proxies from the cathedral churches 
and religious houses throughout all England, namely, for 
every procuration fifty shillings; moreover he sequestrated 
all the benefices of the clergy and religious men, who had 
given assistance, or advice, or favoured the cause of Louis. 
all which he converted to the use of himself and his clerks. 

Of the siegr nf Dover cnt-tle by Louis. 

In the same year on the day of the nativity of St. John 
the Baptist, Louis, with a powerful force of knights and 
soldiers laid siege to Dover castle, having first sent to his 
father fora petraria which was called in French "Malvoisine ;" 
and the French having disposed this and other engines before 
the castle, they began to batter the walls incessantly; but 
Hubert de Burgh, a brave knight, with a hundred and forty 
knights and a large number of soldiers who were defending 

A.D. 1210.] sir.rjr. OF WINDSOR CASTLK. 375 

ih n , castle, destroyed many of the enemy, until the French 
fueling tlicir loss removed their tents and engines farther 
from the eastle ; on this Louis was greatly enraged and swore 
lie would not leave the place till the castle was taken and all 
the garrison hung. They therefore, to strike terror into them, 
built a number of shops and other buildings in front of t!ie 
entrance to the eastle, so that the place appeared like a market ; 
for they hoped that they would, by hunger and a protracted 
siege, force them to surrender, as they could not subdue 
them by force of arms. 

The cajiture of the castle of Cambridge. 

About this same time a party of the barons who were stay- 
ing at London, made an incursion into the country near 
Cambridge, pillaged it, and took the castle at that place, where 
they made prisoners of twenty soldiers whom they found in 
it, and took them away with them. From thence they marched 
on, roving through the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, 
pillaging the country as well as all the churches; they ex- 
torted large ransoms from the towns of Yarmouth, Dun- 
wich, and Ipswich ; and then, after collecting booty about 
Colchester, and ravaging the country there in like manner, 
they returned to their old haunts at London. 

The siege of Windsor castle. 

After these events the barons assembled a large force, and 
laid siege to the, castle of Windsor ; the command of this 
army was given to the count de Nevers, a descendant of the 
traitor (iuenelon; and having arranged their engines they 
made, fierce assault on the walls. This castle was in the 
custody of Ingelard d'Athie, a man well tried in war, who 
was attended by sixty knights with their retainers, and these 
stoutly defended the castle against their enemies. As soon 
as John learned that the castles of Dover and Windsor were 
laid siege to, he assembled a large army of the garrisons of 
his castles, followed by whom he overran the lands of the 
earls and barms at harvest-time, burning their houses and 
crops and doing great damage to his enemies ; afterwards he 
roved through the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, causing 
similar havoc amongst the possessions of the earl of Arundel. 
Roger Bigod, William de Huntingfield, Roger de C'rcsi, and 

376 ROGER OP WENDOVEB. [A.D. 1216. 

other nobles. When all these events were told to the barons, 
who were gaining little or no advantage at the siege of 
Windsor castle, they determined to raise the siege, in order 
to cut off the retreat of king John, who, as has been said, 
was now pillaging and collecting booty about the coast of 
Suffolk ; therefore, by the advice of the count de Nevers, 
who, it was said, had been bribed by presents from the king, 
they raised the siege at night, and, leaving their tents, marched 
with all haste towards Cambridge in order to circumvent the 
king. He however, bv means of good .scouts, was forewarned 
of this, before the barons arrived at Cambridge, and like H 
cunning traveller betook himself to the town of Stamford. 
From thence he soon proceeded northward, and hearing that 
the castle of Lincoln was besieged he made all haste to that 
place, Gilbert de Gant and the other Normans, who were be- 
sieging it fled before him, dreading his presence as they would 
lightning. The barons, too, who had followed the king, 
when they found that they were deceived, indulged in rapine 
and robbery, and gave all their attention to the destruction of 
property; they then returned with their booty to London, 
where they appointed some knights to guard the city, and 
then marched to join Louis at Dover. King John in the 
meantime proceeded towards the boundary of Wales, be- 
sieging and taking the castles of the barons in that direction, 
all which he ordered to be razed to the ground ; and the 
cruel destruction which he caused amongst the houses and 
crops of the said barons afforded a pitiable spectacle to all 
who saw it. In the month of November in the same year 
Alexander king of Scots, for fear of king John, came with u 
large army to Louis at Dover, and did homage to him for the 
right which he ought to hold from the king of the English ; 
but on his way to him, as he was passing Bernard's castle, in 
the province of Ilaliwercfolk, and which was in the fee of 
Hugh de Baillul, he, with the nobles of that district, rode 
round the castle to see if it was open to assault in any part; 
whilst thus employed a cross-bow man in the castle dis- 
charged his weapon, and wounded a noble of high rank, 
Eustace de Vesci, in the forehead, and, the weapon piercing 
his brain, he died on the spot. This said Eustace had married 
the sister of the king of Scotland ; and therefore the latter as 
well as all the party of the barons was much grieved. The 

A. 0.1210.] DEATH OF JOIIK 377 

said king however did homage, as he had pre-arranged, and 
returned home. 

The treachery of the French detected. 

It happened about this time that the viscount de Melun, 
:i French nobleman who had come into England with Louis, 
fell seriously ill at London ; and when he found that his death 
was approaching, he sent for some of the barons who had 
been left in charge of the city (o speak with him, and in the 
hearing of them all made the following confession. " 1 
grieve," said he, " for your desolation and ruin, because you 
know not the danger which hangs over you ; lor Louis and 
sixteen other French counts and barons with him have sworn, 
that, if lie subdues England and is crowned king, he will 
condemn to perpetual banishment all those who are now 
lighting with him and pei'secuting king John, as traitors 
against their lord, and will destroy the whole race of them 
from the kingdom ; and, that you may not doubt this, I, who 
am now lying here at the point of death, declare to you at 
the risk of my soul, that I am one of those who have taken 
this oath with Louis. Therefore I now sincerely advise you 
to provide for your safety for the future, and to keep secret 
what I have now told you;" and with these words that 
nobleman immediately expired. When this information was 
spread amongst the barons they were in great consternation, 
for they knew that they were in trouble on every side ; for 
Louis had, notwithstanding their murmurs, given their land 
and castles, which he had subdued in various places, to the 
French, and, what hurt them most, had branded them with 
treachery ; their alarm was increased too, by the circum- 
stance of their being excommunicated day after day, and 
deprived of all earthly honour, and they consequently fell 
into great trouble both of body and mind. Many of them 
thought of returning to their allegiance to king John ; but 
they were afraid, that, on account of the many and 
injuries by which he had been provoked to anger against 
them, he would not receive them though penitent. 

Of the dea'.h of king Jahn. 

Whilst Louis was continuing the siege at Dover for a 

378 noGEU OK WEXDOVER. [A.D. 1210. 

length of time arid without success, John with a large force 
had been committing terrible ravages in the counties of 
Suffolk and Norfolk. At last he took his way through the 
town of Lynn, where he was received with joy by the inhabit- 
ants, and received large presents from them. He then took his 
march towards the north, but in crossing the river Wellester, 
he lost all his carts, waggons, and baggage horses, together witli 
his money, costly vessels, and everything which he had a par- 
ticular regard for ; for the land opened in the middle of the 
water and caused whirlpools which sucked in every thing, as 
well as men and horses, so that no one escaped to tell tin- 
king of the misfortune. lie himself narrowly escaped with 
his army, and passed the following night at a convent called 
Swineshead, where, as was thought, he felt such anguish of 
mind about his property which was swallowed up by tin- 
waters, that he was seized with a violent fever and became 
ill; his sickness was increased by his pernicious gluttony, for 
that night he surfeited himself with peaches and drinking new 
eider, which greatly increased and aggravated the fever in him. 
lie however left that place at early dawn, although in pain, 
and proceeded to the castle of Lafort to take up his quarters, 
and at this place he was in such pain, that on the following 
day it was with difficulty that he reached Newark on horse- 
back ; there his disease, gained ground, and he confessed 
himself and received the eucharist from the abbat of Croxton. 
Afterwards he appointed his eldest son Henry his heir, and 
made his kingdom swear allegiance to him ; he also sent 
letters under his own seal to all the sheriffs and castellans 
of the kingdom, ordering them one and all to obey his said 
son. Being then asked by the abbat of Croxton, where he 
would wish to be buried in case he should die, he answered, 
" To God and St. Wolstan I commend my body and soul." 
After this, on the night next after St. Luke the Evangelist's 
day, he departed this life, having reigned eighteen years 
and a half; his body was dressed in royal robes and car- 
ried to Worcester, and was there honourably buried in the 
cathedral church by the bishop of that place. When the 
king was drawing near his death at Newark, messengers 
came to him there with letters frcan about forty of the barons 
who wished to make their peace with him again ; but as he 
was at the p:>int of death he could not gj V e his attention to 


them.* Some one has composed his epitaph and an inscrip- 
tion for his tomb in the following lines: 

Hoc in snrcophago sepelitur regis imago, 
Qui morietiH multum Ht'davit in orhe tuniultum. 
Hunt- mala post mortem tinior est ne fata sc<|uuntur. 
Q,ui le^is luce, metueiis duni cernis te moriturum, 
Discute quid rerum pariat tibi meta dierum. 

King John reigned eighteen years five months and four 
days, f 

Of the coronation of Henry the Third, kinq of England, and of the occur- 
rences in his reign. 

After the death of king John, on the eve of the day of the 
apostles Simon and Jude, an assembly was convened at 
Gloucester in the presence of Walo, the legate of the apos- 
tolic see, at which there were present, Peter bishop of Win- 
chester, and Silvester bishop of Worcester, Ralph earl of 
Chester, William Marshall the earl of Pembroke, William 
earl of Ferrers, John Marshall, and Philip d'Albiney, with 
abbats, priors, and a great number of others, to arrange 
for the coronation of Henry the eldest son of king John- 
On the day following all preparations for the coronation 
having been made, the legate, in company with the bishops 

* The abbat of the canons of Croxton, a man well skilled in medicine, 
who was tlic king's physician at that time, opened the king's body that it 
might be better carried to the grave, and having well Kilted his entrails had 
them carried to his abbey and honourably buried there. King John reigned 
eighteen years five months and five days, during which time he caused 
many disturbances and entered on many useless labours in the world, and 
at length departed this life in great agony of mind, possessed of" no territory, 
yea not even being his own master. It is, however, to be confidently hoped 
that some good works, which he performed in this life, may plead in his 
favour at the tribunal of Jesus Christ ; for he founded a monastery of the 
Cistercian order at Beaulieu, and, when dying, gave to the monastery of 
Croxton land worth ten pounds. 

f A profane rhymer thus says of him, 

" With John's foul deeds England's whole realm is stinking, 
As doth hell, too, wherein he now is sinking." 

But because it is dangerous to write against him who can so easily proscribe 
a man, it is not my business because it is not safe, to blame bis endless 
reprehensible faults, as says the poet Juvenal, 

" I'll aim mv shafts of suit ire at the dead.'* 

380 ROGER OK WENUOVER, [A.D. 1216. 

und ni)bles aforesaid, conaucted the king in solemn proces- 
sion to the conventual church to be crowned ; and there, 
standing before the great altar, in the presence of the clergy 
und people, he swore on the holy gospels and other reliques 
of the saints that he would observe honour, peace, and reve- 
rence towards God and the holy church and its ordained 
ministers all the days of his life ; he also swore that he would 
show strict justice to the people entrusted to his care, and 
would abolish all bad laws and customs, if there were any in 
the kingdom, and would observe those that were good, and 
cause them to be observed by all. He then did homage to 
the holy church of Rome and to pope Innocent for the king- 
doms of England and Ireland, and swore that, as long as he 
held those kingdoms, he would faithfully pay the thousand 
marks which his father had given to the Roman church ; 
after this, Peter bishop of Winchester placed the crown on 
his head, and anointed him king with the usual ceremonies 
of prayer and chanting observed at coronations. After mass 
had been performed, the bishops and knights above men- 
tioned clothed the king in royal robes, and conducted him to 
table, where they all took their seats according to their rank, 
and feasted amidst mirth and rejoicing. On the following 
day the king received the homage and fealty of all the 
bishops, earls, barons, and all others present, and they all 
promised faithful allegiance to him. Henry was crowned in 
the tenth year of his age, on the day of the apostles Simon 
and Jude, which was the 28th day of the month of October. 
After his coronation lie continued under the guardianship of 
William earl of Pembroke, the grand marshal, who imme- 
diately sent letters to all the sheriffs and castellans of 
England, enjoining them each and all to obey the newly 
crowned king, and promising them possessions and many 
presents besides, on condition of their faithfully adhering to 
the said king ; and thus all the nobles and castellans who 
had served his father adhered more firmly to him, because 
they all thought that the sin of the father ought not to be 
charged to the son ; wherefore all began to prepare for de- 
fence and to fortify their castles as strongly as possible. 
Those who had taken the side of the king were encouraged, 
because they saw that his accomplices and abettors were 
excommunicated each Sunday and feast-day. 


How Louis, on hetiriny of John's death, departed from Dover. 

When Louis and the barons who were besieging Dover 
castle received news of the death of king John, they were all 
greatly pleased, as they confidently expected that they now 
had the kingdom of England in their own power. Louis 
then summoned Hubert de Burgh, constable of Dover castle, 
to a conference, and said to him, " Your lord king John is 
dead, and you cannot hold this castle against me for long, as 
you have no protector; therefore give up the castle, and 
become faithful to me, and I will enrich you with honours, 
and you shall hold a high post amongst my advisers." To 
this offer Hubert is said to have replied, "Although my lord 
is dead, he has sons and daughters, who ought to succeed 
him ; and, as to surrendering the castle, I will deliberate 
with my fellow knights." He then returned to the castle and 
told his friends what Louis had said, but they were all 
unanimous in refusing to surrender it to him, lest they might 
be branded with treachery for a cowardly submission. When 
this was announced to Louis and the barons, they determined 
to reduce the smaller castles throughout the country, that, 
after the lesser fortresses were in their power, they might 
attack the larger ones ; they then raised the siege, and 
returned to the city of London. Directly after their retreat, 
the knights who had defended the castle sallied out and 
burnt the houses and buildings which Louis had erected in 
front of the castle, and then ravaging the country, they pro- 
cured a plentiful supply of necessaries for the garrison. 

Of the siege and capture of the castle of Hertford. 

After this, Louis marched on the morrow of St. Martin's 
day with a large army to the town of Hertford, and laid 
siege to it, arranging his engines of war round the castle to 
batter the walls ; but Walter de Godardville, a brave knight 
of the retinue of Falcasius, defended it with his soldiers, and 
caused a great slaughter amongst the French. However, 
after the latter had, at great expense, protracted the siege 
from Martinmas till the feast of St. Nicholas, the town was 
surrendered to Louis, saving the garrison, their property, 
horses, and arms. The town being thus given up, Robert 
Fitz- Walter made a demand of it, saying that the charge of 

382 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 121&*. 

it belonged to him by old right ; Louis then asked the 
advice of the French knights on the matter, who told him 
that the English were not worthy of holding charge of such 
places, as they were traitors to their own sovereign. On 
this Louis told the aforesaid Robert to wait patiently till the 
kingdom was subdued, when he would give every one his 
rights. In the same year on the day of St. Catherine 
the virgin and martyr, the noble William d'Albiney was 
released from prison, after paying a fine of six thousand 
marks for his ransom ; he then did homage to king Henry, 
who delivered into his custody the castle of Lafort, which he 
vigorously maintained. 

Capture of the castle of Derkhampstead. 

After reducing the castle of Hertford, as above-mentioned, 
Louis inarched on St. Nicholas's day to the castle of Berk- 
hampstead and surrounded it with his engines of war. 
Whilst the English barons, after pitching their tents, were 
employed in setting them in order, the knights and soldiers 
of the garrison made a sally, seized the baggage and convey- 
ances of the barons, and gained possession of the standard of 
William de Mandeville, with which they returned to the 
castle, regretting that they could do no further injury 
to them. On the same day, whilst the barons were sitting 
at table, the knights and soldiers of the garrison again 
made a sally, and, in order to put the barons in confusion, 
they carried before them the standard which they had 
taken a short time before, and thought to come upon them 
unawares; but the latter were forewarned of this, and drove 
them back into the castle. When the following day dawned 
Louis ordered the petrariae and other engines of war to be 
erected round the city, which being done, they kept up a 
destructive shower of stones ; but Walleran, a German, well 
tried in warfare, made a brave resistance against them and 
caused great slaughter amongst the excommunicated French. 
However at last the aforesaid Walleran, after a protracted 
siege, by command of the king surrendered the castle to 
Louis, saving their horses and arms, on the 20th of Decem- 
ber. On the following day which was St. Thomas's day, 
Ivouis, after placing his own followers in the castle, went to 
St. Alban's, and required the abbat to do homage to him ; to 


this the abbat replied that he would not do homage to him, 
till lie was released from the homage which lie had made to 
the king of England, on which Louis became greatly enraged, 
and swore that he would burn the convent and the whole 
town unless he did what was required of him. At last tlio 
said abbat, after being dreadfully threatened, on the inter- 
vention of Sayer earl of Winchester, paid a fine for himself 
and for the town, giving to Louis for a truce till the purifica- 
tion of St. Mary eighty marks of silver; and on this Louis 
returned to the city of London. 

Ecenls cunticctcd wllh the land of promise. 

In the same year, on the expiration of the truce made 
between those of the faith in the land of promise and the 
Saracens, at the first passage after the general Lateran council, 
the army of the Lord assembled in great force at Acre, under 
the three kings of Jerusalem, Hungary, and Cyprus. There 
were also present the dukes of Austria and Bohemia, with a 
large knightly array from the kingdom of Germany, and 
several counts and men of rank. The archbishops of Nicosia, 
Sal/burgh, Argia, Hungary, Bayeux, Bawerge, Ciceno, 
Minister, and Utrecht, and with them the noble and powerful 
Walter d'Avennes. Besides these, the patriarch of Jerusalem, 
amidst much humility of clergy and people, reverently carry- 
ing the symbol of the life-giving cross, set out on the sixth 
day after All Saints from Acre for the camp of the army of 
the Lord, which had gone forward to Kecordana. This 
being a piece of the Lord's cross had, after the loss of the. 
Holy Land, been kept concealed by those of the faith till this 
time; for in a conflict between the Saracens and Christians, 
in Saludin's time, the cross, as we have heard from our elders, 
was cut, and a part of it being carried into the light, was 
there lost, but the part left behind still remained and was 
now shown. The army of the faith, furnished with this 
for a standard, marched through the plain of Faba to the 
fountain of Tubannia, and suffered much in that day's march. 
Scouts were then sent out, who saw the dust which w:is 
caused by the enemy, but were uncertain whether they were 
in retreat or advancing to meet them. On the following 
day they marched between the mountains of llelboe on 
their right hand and a lake on their left, and reached 

3,94 ROGER OF WEXDOVEH. [x.D. 1'21(>. 

Bethany, where tho onemy was encamped ; the latter, 
however, in dread at the approach of the army of the living 
God, which was so numerous, and marching in sucli order, 
struck his tents, and, taking to flight, left the country 
open to the ravages of the soldiers of Christ. On the eve 
of Martinmas tin 1 army of the faith crossed the Jordan, 
bathing their bodies in that river, and there rested quietly 
for two days, finding an abundance of provisions. They 
then made three stages along the sea of Galilee and passed 
through the places whi-re our Saviour deigned to work his 
miracles, and conversed in person with men. They saw 
Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter, then reduced to a 
small fortress; they also saw the places where Christ called 
his disciples, walked on the sea with dry feet, fed the multi- 
tudes in the desert, went up the mountain to pray, and where, 
after his resurrection he ate with his disciples; and then they 
returned by way of Capernaum to Acre, carrying their sick 
with them. After this they made another expedition and 
proceeded to Mount Tabor, where at first they found a 
scarcity of water, but afterwards by digging they discovered 
plenty ; the chiefs of the army gave up all hopes of ascending 
the mountain, until they were told by a Saracen boy that the 
castle could be taken. They therefore held a council, and on 
the fir>t Sunday in Advent, when was read the gospel, "Go 
to the cattle which is over against you," the patriarch went 
in advance with the symbol of the cross, and amidst the 
prayers and chanting of hymns by the bishops and clergy the 
army reached the side of the mountain ; and although it was 
rugged on every side, and as it seemed insurmountable, 
except by a winding path, yet they all undauntingly climbed 
it. John king of Jerusalem, with the soldiers of Christ, 
struck from their horses the castellan and an emir, who at 
the first onset had boldly met the enemy outside the gates, to 
defend the mountain, and were putting them to confusion and 
flight. But the glory which the king gained in his ascent of 
the mountain, he lost in the descent ; for a number of the 
templars, hospitallers, and seculars were wounded, when the 
enemy recovered their courage, though but few were killed. 
In this expedition, as also in th<- former one which we men- 
tioned, the Christians brought back a great number of men, 
women, and children with them to Ac:e, where the bishop of 

A.D. 1217.] CONDITIOX OF THE lUKQN'S. 38,3 

Acre baptized all lie could obtain by entreaties or for nion^y; 
the women he distributed amongst the nuns, and hud them 
taught to read. In a third expedition, at which the patriarch 
was not present with the clergy and the symbol of the cro-<s 
the army of the faith endured many inconveniences, as well 
from robbers as from the severity of the winter, especially on 
the eve of Christmas day, when, as they were on their march, 
the weather was disturbed by storms of wind and rain; in 
the neighbourhood of Tyre and Sidon too, near Sarepta, they 
suffered many hardships, as well from the inclemency of the 
season as from bodily suffering. 

//o(o the barons of England reflected on the wretched state of their 

A.D. 1217. The young king Henry was at Christmas at 
Bristol, in company with \Yalo the legate, and William 
Marshall the guardian of the king and kingdom. At this 
time there was a great deal of wavering amongst the barons 
of England, to which ruler they should entrust themselves, 
whether to the young Henry or to Louis ; for they were 
treated so contemptuously by the French that many of them 
rejected their assistance. This gust of excitement, moreover, 
was increased by Louis himself, who, in disregard of his 
oath, and in spite of their complaints, had retained in his 
own possession the lands, possessions, and castles of the said 
barons, which he had subdued with their help, and had 
placed foreign knights and people in charge of them. On 
the other hand, it seemed a disgrace for them to return to 
their allegiance to a king whom they had renounced, lest they 
should be like dogs returning to their vomit ; and, being 
thus in difficulty in every way, they could not mend the 
broken reed. In the same year, on the 20th of January, 
the knights and soldiers of the garrison of the castle of 
Montsorrel made a sally to rob and pillage the country ; but 
the knights of Nottingham, on being informed of it by their 
scouts, went to meet them, and giving them battle, made 
prisoners of ten knights and twenty-four soldiers of the 
opposite party, and killed three, after which they returned 
in triumph. 


386 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [.V.D. 1217. 

I low Falkasius pMayed the town of St. Allan's. 

In the same year, on the 22nd of January, the wicked 
robber Falkasius assembled a force of knights and robbers 
from the garrisons of the castles of Oxford, Northampton, 
Bedford, and Windsor, and went to St. Alban's, it being the 
night of St. Vincent's day, at dusk, and making an unex- 
pected attack on the place, pillaged it and made prisoners of 
men and children, whom lie committed to close confinement ; 
at the very door of the church there he slew a follower of 
the court who was endeavouring to take refuge in the church, 
and after the perpetration of this wicked crime by these 
agents of the devil, lie sent orders to the abbat William at 
once to deliver him a hundred pounds of silver, or else lie 
would directly burn the whole town, with the monastery and 
other buildings ; on which the abbat, after much hesitation, 
paid the sum demanded, having no other remedy. Falka- 
sius after this, with hi^ excommunicated companions in 
arms, made all speed to the castle of Bedford, taking with 
him his booty and prisoners ; from that place he marched 
with his followers to tlie forest of Walburg, and there made 
prisoner Roger de Coleville and sixty clerks and laymen 
with him, who were lying concealed there for the sake of 
collecting booty.* 

Paris a Jilt) : " One nifrht afterwards, the said Faulkes saw in a vision a 
large stone from the tower of St. Alban's fall like a thunderbolt on him, 
and crush him to dust ; alarmed by this, he awoke, and told his wife the 
vision. She then advised him, as her husband, lord, and friend, to go with 
all due devotion to the blessed Alban, whom he had without doubt 
offended, and make his peace with that saint by a proper atonement ; 
for she understood that this was a presage of some future punishment for 
the crime he had committed, Faulkes then consented to do so sifter some 
trouble, thus fulfilling the saying of the apostle, 'a faithless man shall be 
saved by a faithful woman.' He afterwards, not to offend his wife, went to 
St. Alban's, and entered the chapter-house without his armour, carrying a 
rod, and asked and obtained absolution, kissing the monks one by one, as 
if he could thus make his peace with them all; but he did not restore any 
of the property he had seized, or make any reparation to the poor followers 
of Christ for the injury he had done them. The servants of Christ stood 
at the door of the chapter-house, hoping for some reparation to them ; 
but when he saw them waiting, he spurned them and passed on, not know- 
ing that threatening prophecy as to the punishment which the Lord God of 
vengeance, at the complaint of the blessed Alban, has reserved for him, 
' Woe unto you, robber, for you shall be rubbed.' And this he learned by 
experience in the end, as the ensuing nair.itive will bhow." 


Of the treaty made between the king of England anil Louis. 

About this time, the messengers of Louis who had pone 
on his behalf to the. court, of Rome, brought word to him, 
that unless he left England the sentence of excommunication 
which the legate Walo had pronounced against him would 
on the day of the Lord's supper be confirmed. On account 
of this a truce was made between Louis and king Henry to 
last till the Easter month, by which it was agreed that every- 
thing was to remain till that time in the same, state as it was 
on the day of the truce being sworn to, with respect both to 
castles and other possessions. Louis then crossed the sea 
during Lent, on such a footing, that he never again had the 
good will of the barons of England as he had formerly ; 
for of that party, William e^vrl of Salisbury, William earl of 
Arundel, William earl of Warrenne, and many others, at once 
returned to their allegiance to king Henry, and adhered to 
his cause from that time : the grand marshal too recalled 
his eldest son William to his allegiance to the king, and 
thus Louis's party was in a great measure broken up. 

Events in the land of promise. 

The army at Acre was at this time divided into four parts ; 
the kings of Hungary and Cyprus went to Tripoli, where the 
young king of Cyprus died. The king of Hungary, after 
staying there for a short time, took his departure to the 
injury of the cause of the Holy Land ; for he took away 
with him pilgrims and galleys, horses, cattle, and arms, and 
although much entreated by the patriarch not to leave, he went 
away with his retinue, and was excommunicated. Another 
portion, consisting of the lazy and timid, and the wealthy, 
remained in Acre. The king of Jerusalem and the duke of 
Austria, with the hospitallers of St. John, and manv 
prelates, and others of the crusaders, in a short time had 
strengthened the castle at Caesarea in Palestine, although 
frequent reports of the approach of the enemy were brought 
to them. At this latter place, the patriarch with six [-.relates 
celebrated the feast of the Purification with all due so- 
lemnity. The templars too, with the lord I)' Avenue-, and 
other pilgrims, and the hospitallers of the Teutonic order, 
fortified a castle formerly called " The District," but now the 
u Pilgrim's Castle," which lies between Caill'a and Csesarea, 
cc 2 

388 ROGER OF WEXDOVER. [A.D. 1217. 

not far from the sea : wherefore, those who went up and 
<lown the narrow road on their way to Jerusalem, called it 
" The District." The chief advantage of this castle was, 
that the brotherhood of the Templars, after leaving the eitv 
of Acre, which was full of all sin and debauchery, would 
remain in it as a garrison till the walls of Jerusalem were 
repaired. The district round it abounded in fisheries, lakes, 
woods, pastures, meadows, fields, herbage, vineyards, gardens, 
and orchards. Between Acre and Jerusalem, the Saracens 
were not in possession of any town, on which account the 
infidels suffered much loss. Six miles distant from mount 
Thabor, between Jerusalem and the Jordan, there is a good 
natural harbour ; and therefore the Saracens could neither 
plough nor sow in the extensive plain which lies between, on 
account of its being under the protection of this castle. 
The army of the Lord then, after fortifying this castle, re- 
turned to Acre. 

Of signs in the heavens by which th" province of Cologne tr<w incited to 
assist in the crusade, 

In the month of May in this year, on the sixth day before 
Whitsuntide, the province of Cologne was awakened to its 
duty to the Saviour ; for at the town of Bebon in Friesland 
there appeared in the sky the form of the cross in three 
places, one towards the north of a white colour, another 
towards the south of the same form and colour, and the third 
in the middle of a dark colour, with the form of the crucifix, 
and the figure of a man suspended on it, with uplifted and 
extended arms, with nails driven through the feet and hands, 
and with the head bent down ; this one was in the middle 
between the two others, on which latter did not appear the 
image of a human body ; at another time and place too, 
namely, at a town of Friesland called Fuserhuso, there 
appeared near the sun a cross of a blue colour, and more 
people saw this than those who had seen the former crosses : 
a third cross appeared at the town of Doetham, where saint 
Bonifacius was crowned with martyrdom ; at this place on 
the feast of the said martyr, many thousand men having 
collected together, a large white cross was visible, as though 
two planks were placed artificially across one another ; this 


cross moved gradually from the north towards the east, and 
many thousands saw it. 

The siege of the cattle of Mountsorel. 

In the same year after Easter, by the orders of William 
Marshall guardian of the king and kingdom of England, there 
assembled, to lay siege to the castle of Mountsorel, Ralph 
earl of Chester, William earl of Albemarle, William earl of 
Ferrars, Robert de Vipont, Brian de L'Isle, W. de Cantelupe, 
Philip Marc, Robert de Gaugi, Falkasius with his castellans, 
and many others from the garrisons of the different castles, 
and they at once arranged their engines of war in suitable 
positions and invested the castle. The commander of the 
place was Henry de Braybrooke. and there were with him ten 
knights, men of great valour, and a number of attendants, 
who courageously returned stone for stone and weapon for 
weapon on their assailants ; the besieged, after they had 
defended the castle for several days, in order that they might 
not be reduced to want through a protracted siege, sent to 
Sayer earl of Winchester, who was then at London, begging 
him to come at once to their assistance. The said earl then, 
to whom the castle belonged, went to Louis who had lately 
returned to London from the transmarine provinces, and 
demanded of him to send some assistance by which the siege 
might be raised ; after consulting with each other they came 
to the determination to send a body of knights to raze the 
siege and to reduce the whole district to submission to Louis. 
In pursuance of this plan there went forth from the city of 
London six hundred knights and more than twenty thousand 
soldiers, who all coveted the property of others ; and this 
array was under the command of the count of Perche 
mareschal of France, Sayer earl of V"inchester, Robert Fitz- 
Walter with many others, whom they esteemed fit to com- 
mand the expedition. They moved their camp on the 30th 
of April, which was on the Monday next before our Lord's 
Ascension, and marched to St. Alban's pillaging all the 
places they passed. These wicked French freebooters and 
robbers roved through the towns around them, sparing 
neither churches nor cemeteries, and made prisoners of the. 
inhabitants of all ranks, and, after dreadfully torturing them, 
extorted a heavy ransom from them ; the convent of St. 

390 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1'217. 

Alban's too, the abbat of which had a snort time before 
satisfied tlic demands of Louis by the payment of a large sum 
of money, escaped the hands of the robbers, so that they 
stole nothing except meat and drink. 

Of a miracle of the Lord's cross. 

On the following day they moved their camp, proceeding 
towards the town of Dunstable, and, at the town of 
Redbourn, they pillaged the church of St. Amphibalus, and 
stripped the monks even to their inner clothing ; they also 
took the relics of the saints from above the great altar and 
polluted them with their impious hands. One among them 
seized on a silver and gold ornamented cross, in which was 
contained a piece of our Lord's cross, and hid it in his wicked 
bosom unknown to his companions ; but before he had left the 
oratory, he was possessed by a devil, and fell down grinding 
his teeth and foaming at the mouth, then rising quickly on 
the instigation of the devil, he endeavoured to strike at his 
companions with his sword ; they, however, pitying his 
agony, tied his hands, and, not knowing the cause of it, took 
him to the church of Flamstead in a state of the wildest 
frenzy. As these robbers were entering that church for the 
purpose of robbing it, they were met by the priest, clad in 
white robes, in order to check the evil disposition of those 
impious men ; however, being alarmed about their mad com- 
panion whom they had brought with them, they refrained 
from plunder, and there, in the presence of the superior and 
many others, the aforesaid cross leapt forth from the madman's 
bosom and fell on the ground; the superior then took it up 
with reverence and astonishment, and, holding it up, asked 
the robbers what it was. At length on consideration they 
found out, by means of this visitation of (Jod, that he had 
clandestinely taken it from the monks whom they had robbed 
in the adjoining tcwn, and they were all in a state of great 
perplexity and fear, lest the evil spirit should possess them 
also, and torture them, as it had done their companion. They 
therefore in great alarm delivered the cross up to the superior, 
beseeching him, by the virtue of (Jod and in peril of hi-< 
order, before he took any food, to go to the place and restore 
the cross to the monks; the superior therefore made, all haste 
to the oratory of St. Amphibalus, and with due reverence 

A.D. 1-217.] S1F.GK OF LINCOLN CASTI.K. 391 

delivered the cross, and related all the wonderful events con- 
nected with it to the prior arid brethren. 

The raising nf the xier/e of the castle of Monlsorel, and of the *\etje "f 
Lincoln cattle, 

The army of Louis and the barons of England arrived at 
Dunstable, and there passed the night. In the morning it 
took its march northward, hastening to the relief of the 
before-mentioned castle of Montsorel ; earl Ralph of Chester 
arid the others who were with him besieging it, being informed 
of this by their scouts, raised the siege, and retreated to the 
castle ot' Nottingham, where they determined to watch the 
progress of their approaching enemies. When the barons 
then arrived at the castle of Montsorel, after pillaging in 
their usual custom all the cemeteries and churches on their 
march, it was determined unanimously to march to Lincoln, 
where (iilbert de (iant and other barons above-mentioned 
had carried on a long siege without success. They therefore 
marched through the valley of Belvoir, and there everything 
fell into the hands of these robbers, because the soldiers of the 
French kingdom being as it were the refuse and scum of 
that country, left nothing at all untouched, and their poverty 
and wretchedness was so great, that they had not enough 
bodily clothing to cover their nakedness. At length they 
arrived at Lincoln, and the barons then made fierce assaults 
on the. castle, whilst the besieged returned their showers of 
stones and missiles with stones and deadly weapons with 
great courage. 

How the kiny of England assembled an army to raise the siege of the 
castle of Lincoln. 

Whilst these events were passing at this place, William 
Marshall, the guardian of the king and kingdom, by 
the advice of Walo the legate. Peter bishop of Win- 
chester, and others by whose counsels the business of the 
kingdom was arranged, convoked all the castellans belong- 
ing to the king, and the knights who were in charge of 
castles in different parts of the kingdom, ordering tliei.i, on 
the command of the king, to assemble at Newark on the 
second day in Whitsun week, to proceed together with them 
to raise the siege of Lincoln castle. Thev, having an ardent 

392 ROGER OF WEXDOVER. [^A.U. 1'2 17. 

desire to engage with the excommunicated French, and also 
to fight for their country, joyfully came at the time and place 
pre-arranged on, and with them also there came the legate him- 
self, and many other prelates of the kingdom, with horses and 
soldiers, to assail with prayers as well as arms these dis- 
obeyers of their king, and rebels against their lord the pope ; 
for it appeared to them they had a just cause of war, es- 
pecially as he was innocent, and a stranger to sin, whom his 
enemies were endeavouring in their pride to disinherit. 
And when they were all assembled together, there were 
reckoned in that army four hundred knights, nearly two 
hundred and fifty cross-bow men, and such an innumerable 
host of followers and horsemen were present, who could on 
emergency fulfil the duties of soldiers. The chiefs of this 
army were William Marshall and William his son, Peter 
bishop of Winchester, a man well skilled in warfare, Ralph 
earl of Chester, William earl of Salisbury, William earl of 
Ferrars, and William earl of Albemarle ; there were also 
there the barons, William d'Albiney, John Marshall, William 
de Cantelo,* and William his son, the renowned Falcasius, 
Thomas Basset, Robert de Vipont, Brian de LTsle, Geoffrey 
de Lucy, and Philip d'Albiney, with many castellans of 
experience in war. They made a stay of three days at 
Newark, to refresh the horses and men, and in the meantime 
employed themselves in confession, and strengthened their 
bodies by partaking of the body and blood of our Lord, 
asking his protection against the attacks of their enemies : 
and thus all of them were prepared for extremities, and 
were determined to conquer or die in the cause of right. 

How, tehcn the king's army wan assembled, the legate encouraged them all 
to battle. 

At length, on the sixth day of Whitsun week, after the 
performance of the holy sacrament, the legate rose and set 
forth to all of them how unjust was the cause of Louis, and 
the barons who had joined him, for which they had been 
excommunicated and alienated from the community of the 
church ; and in order to animate, the army to battle, he put 
on his white robes, and, in company with the whole clergy 
there, excommunicated Louis by name, together with all his 

Before called Cantelupc. 

A.D. 1217.] BATTLE AT LINCOLN. 393 

accomplices and abettors, and especially all those who were 
carrying on the siege of Lincoln against the king of ling- 
land, together with the whole provinces, inclusive and 
included. And to those who had undertaken to assist in this 
war personally, he, by the power granted to him from the 
omnipotent God and the apostolic see, granted full pardon 
for their sins, of which they had made true confession, and 
as a reward to the just he promised the reward of eternal 
salvation. Then, after all had received absolution and the; 
blessing of God, thoy flew to arms, mounted their horses at 
once and struck their camp rejoicing. On their arrival at 
Stowe, eight miles from Lincoln, they there passed the night 
without fear. In the morning, seven dense and well ap- 
pointed battalions were formed, and they marched against 
the enemy, only fearing that the latter would take to flight 
before they reached the city ; the cross-bow men all the time 
kept in advance of the army almost a mile; the baggage 
waggons and sumpter-horses followed altogether in the rear 
with the provisions and necessaries, whilst the standards and 
bucklers glittered in all directions, and struck terror into 
those who beheld them. 

How tlie barons icent out of the city of Lincoln and reconnoitred t/w 
kiny's army. 

The barons who were in the city and the French felt such 
great confidence of success in their cause, that when their 
messengers told them of the approach of their adversaries 
they only laughed at them, and continued to hurl missiles 
from their mangonells, to destroy the walls of the castle. 
But Robert Fitz-Walter, and 8. earl of Winchester, when 
they heard that the enemy were approaching the city, went 
out to watch their approach and to count their numbers ; 
and when they had made a careful survey of the approaching 
enemy they returned to the city to their companions, telling 
them, " The enemy are coining against us in good order, but 
we are much more numerous than they are ; therefore, our 
advice is that we sally forth to the ascent of the hill to meet 
them, for, if we do, we shall catch them like larks." In 
reply to them, the count of Perche and the mareschal said, 
" You have reckoned them according to your own opinion : 
we also will now go out and couut them in the French 

394 itor.KH OK WExnovER. [A.D. 1-217. 

fashion." Thev then wont out to reconnoitre the coming 
army of the king, but in their estimation of them they were 
deceived : for wlien they saw the waggons and baggage in tin- 
rear of the armv. with the guards who followed the squadrons 
which were already disposed in order of battle, they thought 
that this was an army of itself, because they beheld there a 
prosit multitude of men with standards flying ; for each of 
the nobles had two standards, one, as we have already said, 
following the troops at a distance in the rear, with the 
baggage, and another preceding the persons of each of them, 
that they might be known when engaged in battle. And 
the count of Pen-he, with the mareschal, being thus de- 
ceived, returned in a state of uncertainty to their com- 
panions. On their return into the city they proposed this 
plan to their companions, whose advice they did not despise, 
namely, to divide the nobles that the gates might be guarded 
and the enemy prevented from entering by some, until the. 
others had taken the castle, the capture of which would 
soon be effected. This plan was approved of by many, but 
several disagreed with it. They then secured the gates, 
appointed guards to them, and prepared for a defence. 

Of the battle fought at Lincoln called by tome the " /-"air." 

The king's army in the meantime approached the city on 
the side nearest the castle, and when it was discovered by 
the castellans they sent a messenger by a postern door of 
the castle to the commanders of the army, to inform them of 
what was being done inside. This messenger told them 
thai if they wished they could enter the castle by the pos- 
tern, which had been just opened on account of their arrival; 
the commanders of the army, however, would not enter the 
castle that way, but sent Faleasius, with all the division 
under his command, and all the cross-bowmen, to force open 
at least one gate of the city for the army. The whole body 
then marched to the northern gate and endeavoured to force 
it open, the barons, notwithstanding this, continuing to cast 
heavy stones from their petraruv against the castle. Rut 
during this time, Falcasius entered the castle with the com- 
pany of troops under his command, and with the cross-bow 
men, and stationed them on a sudden on the roofs of the build- 
ings and on the ramparts, whence they discharged their deadly 

A.D. 1217.] DEFEAT OF THE FRENCH. %<}", 

wftnpons against the chargers of the barons, levelling hows 
and riders together to the earth, so that in the twinkling of 
an eye, they made up a large force of foot-soldiers, knights, 
and nobles. Falcasius then, seeing a great many of the 
more noble of the enemy struck to the earth, boldly burst 
forth with his followers from the eastle into the midst of the 
enemy ; he was, however, made prisoner by the number 
who rushed on him, and car